…with a Toyota Land Cruiser. 😀
Our tour started next to the old town in the Paraty tours tourist office. We were 16 people in two jeeps. One car was for international people with the guide and the other one for those that spoke portuguese. (although we were too many english speaking people, so two Dutch guys sat in the other car)
We started our tour by driving on the Gold Trail – a trail that was used to transport gold in the 17th century. We followed the trail for about 30 minutes until we reached our first stop – White Stone’s waterfall. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Paraty.
Here we had 50 minutes to swim, look around and meet various nature inhabitants.
We also met a “tiny” spider that liked to be under water
When heading back to the jeeps we met a lot of Marmosets jumping on trees and climbing really close. They were not afraid of people and when the tour guides fed them bananas it seemed like they were waiting for it. It was a cool sight and we saw them up close for the first time.
Our next stop was White Stone Cachaça distillery. Cachaça is an alcoholic beverage distilled from sugarcane juice. It is mostly used in the cocktail Caipirinha. In the distillery we visited, the whole process of making this drink is sustainable.
They use the “heart” of the drink (the good quality alcohol) for selling. The “head” (the strongest part up to 70% alcohol) is used as household alcohol for cleaning. The “tail” (worst quality part) is processed and made into ethanol fuel that all their machines run on.
After seeing the process we also got the chance to taste it. And there were many different kinds to taste. We started from the pure Cachaça, crystal clear and that didn’t have any taste (just warm alcohol :D). The next and my last tasting was Gabriela Cachaça, a dark alcohol with the taste of cinnamon. This one I liked more than the pure one.
Besides these two there was also possible to taste 5 other types – oak one, chilli, chocolate, banana, etc. Next to the drinks we also tried the candy they had made from the beverage. They were really colourful and soft jelly kind and tasted really good. Those are really dangerous. 😀
After the first waterfall and alcohol tour we took a lunch break. It was in a local restaurant that specialises in pasta and Italian food 😀 Like Stig said: “I guess Italian is exotic here” 😀
The food was good and luckily, our card was accepted and we didn’t have to stay to wash dishes. 🙂
Back to the cars and we were on the way to the next waterfall – distillery combo.
The next waterfall is called Penha’s waterfall and it is also a very popular place for locals. The waterfall is falling onto a very large and smooth rock that is perfect for a sport called “rock surfing”. The idea is to stand and slide on the rock until you reach the edge and then jump into water. It is that popular that they even have championships in it.
The contestants compete to trump the best tricks and methods to surf across the rock. The guy who is the champion now surfed blindfolded and with a jumping rope. 😀
We also got a little demonstration to rock surfing.
Our next and last stop was the second distillery. This did not seem as big as the last one, but it was a lot older. They still use gravity and water power to make all their machines run to make flour and Cachaça.