Global Studies Program
Recollections by Marcus Nagle--Parati (12/12-17)
Parati is a small town situated between the mountains and a huge bay leading to the Atlantic Ocean. We spent six days there, mostly sampling streams because Dr. Vis' colleague Dr. Orlando Necchi joined us in the search for Batrachospermum. The first day, we hiked up into the mountains on the Caminho do Ouro (or Trail of Gold), an old mining trail used to bring gold from the mountains to the coast for export to Portugal in the days of colonialism. The hike through the forest was beautiful because of the towering overviews and the area around the trail which was relatively pristine. Later that day, we had fun in the mud by helping to get one of the rental cars unstuck (by this time it was starting to rain).
The next day we hiked to the falls that we tried to get to the day before, they were splendid, and we took a while to admire their beauty. After that we went to an old sugar plantation, sampled streams, and took our last terrestrial plant test. At the end of the day we stopped by a small local stream to sample and some curious locals came to see what was going on.
The following day, we sampled the main river of the area and found some Batrachospermum megasporum. We then went to a forest at the base of the mountains and found an old abandoned cassava mill where flour was made (it seemed it was being renovated). We then hiked into the most beautiful rainforest I think I had seen the whole time in Brazil, and of course it started raining. I took this picture in the rain of the waterfall and I must say it is one of my best from the whole trip.
The next day we took our algae test and it rained all day, and the last day was a free day when the rain cleared, the sun came out, and we took a six hour cruise through the bay and islands. I must say it was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen, the water was clear blue, translucent to the seafloor, and the sand was brilliant white and clean.
I think Parati was a good end to the trip, we got to shop, eat good food, and see the Ocean, thinking about it makes me miss Brazil.
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