New Year in Paraty, Brazil

January 1, 2007

I arrived in Paraty, a popular colonial resort town about 3 hours south of Rio on the coast after a 24 hour bus ride. The journey really sucked but it was the only way to get here in time to see in the New Year. Just as I was dropped off the skies opened to the most torrential rain I ever seen, it was like relentless tropical storms and the streets were waterlogged. But it didn´t stop the Brazilians going crazy for New Year, clearly indicative of their love to party hard on special ocasions and I was well up for joining in the revelries. Thankfully I´d met a superb Dutch guy in the Casa Rio Hostel, a bit of a cramped shithole but it was the only bed available in the town. He invited me to join him, his friend who was dating a Brazilian chap and the Brazilian´s family. This seemed peculiar but apparently normal for a Brazilian family that they should all come along for the couple´s weekend away, (and consequently not much nookie going on as she later told me!). We started the evening with a load of beers in the hostel garden, despite being a dump it has a great view of the river, and then trooped down to the beach at about 11 p.m along with crowds of happy, exuberant, Brazilians nearly everyone wearing completely white clothing which looked incredible despite the relentless rain and now mud under foot, the white is apparently Brazilians way of expressing peace for the year ahead.  On Paraty beach the scene was a frenzy of people dancing, hugging and party mayhem,  we pushed to the front of the main stage and danced along to a kind of Brazilian snoop doggy dog lookalike and the crowd went berserk. A frenzy of embracing kicked in at midnight when the firework display let rip over the main beach and marked the official New Year, an incredible and stunning sight. I was contemplating how lucky and bizarre it was that I was here dancing on Paraty beach with these Dutch and Brazilian people, it was a really joyful ocasion. But it didn´t end there, Martin and I said our goodbyes to the Brazilian family and we continued on the lagers and spirits high fiving all the passing folk and we staggered off to an Electronic rave on the next beach which was completely bananas but great fun; alot of lashed up people trying to rave badly.  A storming New year and fantastic memories, I wonder how 2007 will unfold…