Bay of Parati
One of the delights of the Costa Verde is the Bay of Parati and there are numerous boat trips on schooners and smaller boats available from Parati providing a five or seven hour cruise of the bay.
Neither Trisha nor Leonard are very keen on the idea of being 'trapped' on a boat for five hours. So we did some further investigation.
We asked the staff at our Pousada if they could recommend any boat for a shorter trip around the bay and they proudly produced a photo album of their very own boat.
We agreed a rate and a time and came back to reception to meet up with 'Our Captain' who had one of the broadest smiles on the planet but absolutely no English, and as the staff told us 'very bad Portuguese'.
Undaunted we followed Capitano through the cobbled streets and out onto the end of the wharf where he proudly presented us with his pride and joy and ushered us aboard.
Once settled on the boat Capitano quickly removed his shirt and we set off.
Trisha was well protected from the sun and ready for adventure
As we headed into the bay it became obvious where the name Costa Verde originated
Capitano provided sporadic commentary - in whatever local dialect he used, coupled with gestures - indicating various points of interest as we went along. There were one or two scattered settlements, such as the one below, and an occasional holiday home,
but mostly the shoreline was uninhabited with only a few local fishermen providing evidence that the place had ever been settled.
At one of the settlements Capitano asked if we wanted to eat, but we all agreed it was a little early so we would continue further into the Bay.
Pictures of lunch at Eh Laho Restaurant on Ilha do Catimbau are on their own page - click here or use the next page arrows below.
After lunch Capitano asked - by pretending to dive overboard while grinning widely - if we would like to swim and when we responded with thumbs up and similar wide grins, he set about finding a suitable swimming spot.
There were some 'beaches' along the shoreline, but Capitano was happy to leave these for the schooner tours and proceeded to head into a channel near some jungle. He slowed the boat and concentrated very hard on the bottom, looking for something that would be revealed later, while he positioned us and dropped anchor.
He then produced 'baguettes' - long styrofoam things about 90 mm or 3 inches in diameter and about 5 feet long - hung a boarding ladder over the side of the boat and invited us to swim.
The water was around 9 feet deep, crystal clear and warm, but not too warm and just salty enough and we soon got the hang of these baguettes which provided remarkable support. We could also swim or walk in to shore which had a sandy/gravelly edge of a couple of feet between the larger rocks bordering the jungle.
Once he was happy that we were enjoying our swim, Capitano donned mask and snorkel and started a search of the bottom out in the deeper channel.
Soon, to his great delight, he arrived to present us with the most exquisite reddish-orangeish colored starfish that he had found. It was around 300mm - 1 foot across and Capitano told us it was an Estrella and pointed to the sky in a twinkling kind of way and we told him we called it a Starfish - a word he repeated quite a few times with some amusement.
After we had both made careful inspection and marveled over the beauty of the Estralla he carefully placed it back on the bottom and headed off in search of other wonderments for our education.
He soon returned with a sea urchin and took great delight in resting it very gently on our palms. This urchin's spikes were the the most beautiful mauve-lilac colour you could ever wish to see.
Below you see Trisha has mastered baguette flotation.
At the end of a wonderful afternoon we came back to Parati and semi- reality
while Capitano headed off to moor up his pride and joy.
Somewhere, sometime Trisha remembers reading words in a travel magazine along the lines of;
If heaven is where you go if you are good while on earth.. then this is where you go if you're good while you are in heaven
The Bay of Parati is surely such a place.
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