A few days at the Casa do Rio in Paraty

It was my second time in Paraty. This time I came mainly because I wanted to meet Fausto again. When we were the first time in Paraty we tried to find a room for two nights, but it was one of those long weekends and no hotel or pension wanted to give us a room for less than the packet of 4 nights. Luckily we found Fausto.
  From the center, a few minutes up the river, Fausto had just opened his guest house "Hospedaria Casa do Rio".
The entrance is on the side not facing the river and only about 5 minutes walk from the bus station. What was totally new then is an established hostel today and you can also find it in the Internet www.paratyhostel.com .  
After a bit more than one year the phone is constantly ringing. Mainly Brazilians from Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo who want to spend the weekend are calling to make reservations. I was lucky to arrive during the week, so there was enough space. Fausto also remembered me because I had been the very first guest of the hostel. 

I got the same room as last time, but now it was the male dorm. While I arranged my things I heared somebody else who arrive and talk with Fausto in the hall.

As I join the crowd this new guest said to me: "I know you. You are my neighbour." I said "This is not possible, I come from Switzerland" and thought that my neighbour there looks well different. He continued "Every day you drink coconut with Luis and Jamil, just in front of my painting studio." So I got to know my neighbour from Rio. I was amazed, this man had started painting only 10 years ago and now he has more paintings in European museums, than I have cribbled on toilet walls in all my life!

Fabio gave me an invitation to his current exhibition "Cities and Celebrations" at the "Museo National de Belas Artes" in Rio. When I was back in Rio I was not able anymore to see that exhibition, because the museum was closed, due to the country wide electricity shortage. I like the introduction of that invitation so much that I want to copy it here:

   My landscapes are full of people. Full of crowds! Better still if it's a party or a festival. I love to paint carnival parades, serenades, bailes de sanfona (ballroom dances with accordeon music), church processions - because then cities become much happier places, their colours much more vivid.
  This exhibition presents a variety of scenes of Rio de Janeiro and Paraty. Two Brazilian cities, two old passions. One vast and hectic, the other so small and peaceful. But always lots of people on the streets: people who work, who dance, who laugh and spread into every space of the canvas. Because for me, landscapes without people are like lifeless corpses: maimed and useless...
  Fábio Sombra   a picture made by Fabio
Early in the morning, 
while Fausto's helpers Fernanda
and Odete were getting the place ready for the weekend, 
I sat at the Praça observing the scenery for quite a while, so that I almost would have missed
the Josie who came to visit her sister at work. 

With them the interesting discussions are most likely about age and the number of children the already have, 

while at the breakfast table people talk rather about where they have been and what the plan to do for the day.
Fausto is then a great help explaining all the possibilities. He also runs horse back rides and ecology jeep tour. (His old jeep uses so much petrol, that the word "ecology" should be forbidden.)  
The jeep tour was not available that day. For ecology reasons he would not have done it with me alone. So I joined a bus tour to a sugar cane mill and here a maniok mill
and to a few waterfalls that we reached after some hiking through the forest. There we where able to swim.
As I had a new digital camera I took a lot of pictures that might help Fausto present his hostel and as we got very hungry by deleting all the bad shots his partner Hiroko decided to prepare a tasty pizza.
I was still with my computer sorting out the pictures when Itatiana, the first intellectual weekend guest from Rio appeared and joined me for a while. She did not stop complaining about Fausto telling that he is crazy and so on, but in her eyes I could see how she adored this man who left his city life and started a little hostel in a beautiful place.  
  The next morning I had to leave as the hostel got too ful and as my time in Brazil was coming to an end. I lied for a while in the hammack and thought about all I had seen and then I saw what last picture I had to take with as a background picture for my personal computer.
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