Thursday, April 24, 2014

now for something totally different... yeah no, it's more stuff we did in Brasil

Things I learned in Brasil are here and the first installment of stuff we did in Brasil is here. Where was I? Oh, yeah, Prainha Beach. Such a ridiculously pretty beach! See the nice, normal color of my legs? Yeah, that's about to change.

Prainha was not crowded in the least and surrounded on three sides with gorgeous mountain views with plenty of big rocks on the beach for climbing. Worth the extra driving time from Barra. Great planning, Robyn!

The current was too strong for swimming while we were there, but there were surfers galore catching the big waves. It was perfectly fine with me to be banned from the deep water -- I stuck a toe in the surf and it was FREEZING. Oh my word why so cold? Holy cow. I'm not a huge ocean swimmer anymore anyway. Too many times getting my derriere in the air and my face scraped along the bottom by surprise waves off the coast of NC. I'm a big beach lounger these days. Lounging is not dangerous. Unless you count parboiling your shins. Ow. Gringo.

If you are into geodes, sparkly things or natural beads you must visit Legep. Great scott! I really could have spent a whole afternoon here. So much to ooh and ahh at. It's a huge store with two levels. Brasil is very rich in gemstones, semi-precious stones and rare minerals.

I came away with these pretty samples of chunky pyrite and a sparkly crystal geode.

 Here comes our ride up up to Sugarloaf (Pão de Açúcar).

 On the way to the top!

 Can you make out Cristo Redentor in the distance there? It was kinda hazy.

Gorgeous views of the beaches of Rio despite the haze.

We were lucky to be able to visit with Thalita (Tuh-LEEta) at her new house in Tijuca. She has just opened her gift, a pretty handmade-by-Robyn baby quilt for her new little girl, Malu. You don't know Thalita? She's a lovely and talented artist, designer, doula and mommy living in Rio. Her beautiful blog is chock-full of dolls, illustrations and handmade clothing. I had been internet friends with her for a few years when Robyn moved to Rio and then they became real-time friends. It was so lovely to finally meet you in person, Thalita! Congratulations on your new home and your new little Malu.

 Oh, Thalita. Can I have your hair and skin?

This photo courtesy of Thalita! Sweet little Malu. Not shown: Lilla, Thalita's other beautiful daughter, and Rodrigo, her handsome husband. If you visit her blog, you'll see them too!

Ok, so this is where the already fabulous trip abroad gets ludicrously fantasmigorical. Robyn and I snuck away for three days on our own to Paraty (Pada-CHEE), an absolutely charming seaside colonial town about four hours drive from Rio. The original historic look of the town has been preserved, and there are no cars allowed on the (huge, ankle breaking) cobbled streets. Oy. Look at my legs. They are glowing. Goes nicely with my shirt though.

Why, yes, that is my finished self-drafted top. Thanks for asking. It is light and billowy and I love it. I'll have to show you in more detail in another post. Anyhoo...back to Paraty.

Not only was the town a treat for the eyes, it was stuffed full of the exact kinds of shops designed to make Larissa very happy and part with all kinds of money. Lovely handmade carved items, embroidered clothes, natural jewelry...sigh.

 Some of my loot. Thanks again for my wrap, Robyn!

Take a closer look at the embroidery on the shirt. So pretty.

Our room at Eliconial, a walled-in piece of paradise a few minutes walk from colonial downtown. The entire courtyard and landscaping looks like a mini rainforest. So beautiful and peaceful.

The curtained porch where we enjoyed hot café com leite and homemade crepes each morning, all whipped up by Ivan, one of our gracious hosts. Merci, Ivan.

There are the sea kayaks that we took on a little trip around the bay to a private beach. I have to admit, Robyn is more adventurous than I, and she suggested it. I'm not sure I would have ever ventured out on open water by myself in a kayak but she was confident we could do it. We did, and it was pretty awesome. My arms used muscles that I didn't know existed. Actually I think they formed new muscles on the fly. Sorry, no pictures from the actual outing. I was afraid to lose my camera in the water in case I capsized. But trust me, it was lovely.

Oh my goodness stripey-tailed monkeys the size of squirrels hung out near our room. That's my (tentative) hand feeding him some banana. Or her. Who knows. But super cute! Other wildlife in the courtyard of our pousada: about six well-fed cats, a parrot who could meow like a cat, and a goodly number of lizards. Oh, and the mosquitoes. Stupid mosquitoes.

I recommend you hire Flavio here to take you around to different beaches of Paraty in his speedboat, the XS-Fun. Haha. See what he did there? Once again, this was Robyn's idea and it was gold.

Very fun day-long outing with Flavio. Snorkeling, visiting sea turtles, seeing beautiful sights, enjoying tiny beaches all to ourselves, and a fresh grilled fish lunch on the beach.

¡Noelia, muchas gracias para mi sombrero elegante! Hola para ti y Maximilian en Buenos Aires. Espero que nos encontremos de nuevo cuando mi español es mejor.

Time to leave Paradise. Back again to Rio (bumpety bumpety bump, pass the Dramamine), safe and sound in Barra. Time enough to visit the Havaianas store, load up on flip flops and fly home.

 Goodbye, Howes! I love you. Thanks so much.
Conclusion: Robyn Howe: Officially Best Trip Planner In The Whole Wide World.

Late Note: Many of you have seen the recent news clips about the violent rioting in Ipanema and Copacabana. Please, will you take a few moments to pray for all the people of Rio and for peace and safety there?


  1. I've been LOVING these posts! So amazing, I'm gonna have to put Rio on our bucket list. Your top looks great, I'm excited to hear more about it!

    1. Hey, Jessica, thanks! It was pretty amazing indeed. Thanks about the top! I forgot to take better pictures of it today...have to try again tomorrow.

  2. Larissa, it was so nice to meet you! You are even more beatiful in person. Sounds you had a lot of fun here in Rio! I had lots of laugh with your "what I learned in Brazil" post =D
    Can you believe I have never went to Paraty? I need try that.

    hugs to you!!

    1. You are so nice, Thalita. Yes, make Rodrigo take you to Paraty! It's so pretty there.

  3. There are nice pictures here on your blog! I've been to Brazil long time ago. And I love handmade stuff and I make and sell bag by myself. I'll come here and enjoy your blog again!
    Thank you from Tokyo, Japan. Yuku

    1. Hi, Yuku, thanks so much and welcome to the blog. Helloooo across the world to Tokyo!


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