Long time no updates!
We’ve left the falls far behind, and visited Paraty, which is an old shipping town that used to have lots of gold pass through it on the way to Paraguay.
Guess who likes gold and ships? Pirates! It was cool to see all of the ways the town made it harder for the pirates. All of the streets curved slightly, so you could never see the end of them, and all the houses were painted in the same colour/style, so it was really easy to get lost. All the churches were also fortified, which looked a bit funny.
They also had the cool idea of using the tide to clean the streets (back before plumbing), so you have to be careful what times you walk around the old part of town.
We went on a boat trip round some of the beaches and best swimming spots (the water was so lovely and warm!) which was great fun, and we saw some little monkeys which were cool and very friendly.
After Paraty we took a ferry/speedboat hybrid to Ilha Grande (literally big island), which was reeeally hot and humid. This is the only place we’ve been to where our insect repellant doesn’t work.
One night, me and a couple of people from our tour group (including Richard, a 70 year old!) went for a walk up what’s called Parrots Peak, which is the highest point on the island at about 1000m.
To avoid getting way too hot we left at 2:30 in the morning (Laura was tucked up sleeping), and got up there just in time for a stunning sunrise - it was absolutely beautiful to see the whole island beneath you, with occasional peaks poking up from the clouds. I got some stunning photos, although they really don’t do it justice.
If you ever find yourself on Ilha Grande, I highly recommend it! Although if you do, you should get a guide (we had a lovely man called Luca, who has been up hundreds of times), and make sure to bring at least 3L of water with you - you’ll need it!
On the way down we heard groups of howler monkeys calling to each other, it went on for about 15 minutes until they stopped and another group replied - very cool!
Next stop Rio!