After J and I finished the work part of the trip, we headed to Paraty for some relaxation and prettier scenery.
We stayed just outside the historic center of town at the Pousada Guarana. We picked this place because we'd read reviews saying the owners were extremely nice and helpful that the breakfast was fantastic, and it was all true. Also, since it is winter in Brazil right now, there weren't a lot of people in town and at the pousada, only one other room was taken besides ours. So it was definitely peaceful.
Here are some pictures around the pousada: the shutters that they closed every night for privacy and so the sun wouldn't wake us up (not that there was anything they could do about the nearby rooster that crowed early every morning), delicious eggs in the morning cooked up by the pousada owners, the obligatory pousada pool (which we didn't use), hammocks on the back patio, and one of the four friendly cats (this is Matisse).
Just a word about the cats. Since I've been missing my own cats, I was really thrilled when I discovered that one of the cats (I already forget his name) at the pousada was a real cuddler. We only saw him at night when we got back from wherever we'd been out for the day, and I would squat down to pet him and he just loved it and soon jumped into my lap (I learned the second day to sit down if I was going to pet him). It was very cute.
In addition to this pousada being a very nice place to stay, the owners really went out of their way to help us out. When we decided to walk with our bags from the bus station and got lost, they came and picked us up. (We'd stopped at a laundromat where they called the pousada for us to help us find out where it was.) They also booked a spot for us on a schooner tour, and when we were running too late to make it to the boat on time, they drove us down to the pier. And they even helped us book our next hotel in Rio.
I'm sure this little review is not all that interesting to regular readers of this blog (sorry!), but I guess I'm kind of hoping that someone interested in this pousada will stumble on this post and will be more likely to stay there! (P.S. If anyone is reading this who is considering staying at the pousada, the only "con" I would say about this place is that it's not right in the historic center. It's about a 20 minute walk into town. I really liked this because the historic center is very touristy and it's kind of nice to be able to visit it and then walk away, but if you really want to fall out of your hotel and into a restaurant, then this pousada requires a little walk or a $5 taxi ride each way.)