After our jaunt in the big city we headed north along the coast to the colonial town of Paraty. The old cobblestone streets are closed off in the center and at night people fill the streets- cake vendors out of carts, horses, live music, artists and restaurants in the street. We visited nearby beaches and took a surf lesson for a day. Our next stop was Ilha Grande, the huge island just off the coast. We took the local ferry there and did a day boat trip of the various bays and beaches on the island. The weather was chilly and rainy but we still managed to enjoy the beauty around us. Eventually we returned to the mainland and made one last journey north- to Rio. The city was much more pleasant than its southern neighbor, São Paulo. As we arrived, Joe tapped my shoulder and pointed up at the Christ the redeemer statue atop the mountain. We had finally made it to Rio, our final destination, and a bittersweet feeling slowly sank in.
We spent our time visiting more art museums, walking through parks and seeing other tourist destinations, like the mosaic stairs and sugarloaf mountain. We walked along the shores of the famous Copacabana beach and had a night out in the Lapa district.
Brazil has been wonderful to us. Being a Portugese speaking country, it has given me an appreciation for communication. The past months I've been in Spanish speaking countries and although I'm not completely fluent, my ability has been sufficient to get me from place to place without a problem. Portugese is somewhat similar to Spanish but entirely different at the same time. Our ability to communicate was extremely limited and it forced me to think about what my trip would have been like had I not been able to speak the language. There were so many scenarios that I would have missed out on had I lacked the skill of communication.
Our last day was a sunny one. We sat on the beach and watched all the people. Brazilian swimsuits, groups of people playing beach games, guys selling sunglasses and improvised bars made of styrofoam coolers.
Tudo esta bem (All is well)