First stop, Paraty!
We left early on Saturday morning, heading for ground zero on the Old Route of the Royal Road. Our idea was to get as far as Ouro Preto. We started along the route of the Estrada Real Paraty Cunha.
Paraty is beautiful, with its colonial architecture and irresistible cultural air. It's not for nothing that it has become a World Heritage Site.
A couple of hours later we arrived in town and the first surprise came: everything was decorated for the carnival! A real treat.
We stopped the car, went for a walk and went into the cachaça shops with various flavors. Paraty is famous mainly for the Cachaça Festival and the International Literary Festival (FLIP), which take place in the city every year.
We continue walking through the beautiful streets and buy our first souvenir, the idea is to buy one in each town we stop in, is that enough?
From there we went straight to the Paraty Tourist Information Center and got some information and tips so that we could start our long-awaited trip along the Estrada Real! We even asked about the condition of the roads, whether the trails were really difficult and technical, but all the girl could tell us was that the stretch from Paraty to Cunha was undergoing improvement work.
We left there without much certainty about our route, we only had the spreadsheets we had printed out and the information that the Instituto Estrada Real website provides about the towns along the way, we took all this and went to a snack bar to eat breakfast and make the last considerations of our planning and then we were on our way.
But first, let's take a look at the historical side of the city of Paraty.
We went to ground zero of the Royal Road in Paraty, which is currently in Praça do Chafariz, but was originally in the Church of Santa Rita, built in 1722 and is the city's Mother Church. It was there that the city actually began and where the real ground zero of the Royal Road was supposed to be, but, as it is a historic and protected city, several streets are closed to car traffic and they ended up choosing a more suitable place where cars had access to begin their journey.
The town is very well looked after and beautiful, it's impossible not to fall in love, but unfortunately time was flying and we still had to start the trails, have lunch in Cunha-SP which is the next town and continue along the long route, shall we?
Uhhhullll, the trail has begun! Dirt and a lot of swaying, theoretically for 4×4 cars, but due to the improvements already underway on the road, we saw many ordinary cars there. We continued on and more and more the city fell behind us, with nothing but nature around us, until puft, blught, poooinnn...
Igor, I think you're carrying a stone.
Hello? Let me stop the car, look at it for me.
Hiii, it's not a rock, man, a part of the car fell off.
What?!?! On the first track the car broke down? Now what? Let's go back.
We lifted the car, looked at it, tried to fix it and nothing. We decided to go back to town and try to find a mechanic, drove around and...
Hey, stop right there! There's a loose part in your car.
Yeah, buddy, we know. We're looking for a mechanic in town.
Stop right there, I'm a mechanic and I can help.
And I don't know where the tools started sprouting from, as if by magic, we didn't believe it and happiness filled our hearts.
Igor, Luan and Paulo and I waited for some time, not believing everything that was happening.
What are the chances of your car breaking a part and then being stopped by a mechanic on a carnival holiday in the middle of nowhere wanting to fix your car for FREE?
An angel helped us and saved our trip and even refused to take anything in return, claiming that everyone deserves help, we were very happy and forced him to accept at least a symbolic amount.
Now we're on our way to the surprises along the way and we're very excited to see the landscapes changing with every kilometer, we pass through clouds, lagoons and waterfalls!
The waterfall is so beautiful that we decided to stop at least to get our feet wet. Cachoeira do Pimenta is on the route from Paraty to Cunha, almost at the end of the trail, and has a small waterfall with a nice little pool at the bottom, delicious for a dip.
The tchbum was left until next time, the unforeseen problem with the car delayed things a lot and it was already 4 o'clock in the afternoon, so let's go, the goal is to get to São Lourenço today, can we make it?
Let's go to Cunha for lunch, shall we?