Spectacular views of the glistening sea and the lush green hills of the Atlantic Forest were our constant companions during the four hour drive to the coastal town of Paraty. This ancient township is reached only by road or chartered boat and is charming. Cars are only allowed onto the cobbled streets of the town to make deliveries on Wednesdays. Brightly painted blocks of green, blue, yellow and red washed houses are arranged in neat blocks. Mostly they have split stable type doors and entry requires a step up of about 18 inches. A defence against waters which floods the streets at certain high tides. Horses, carriages and their drivers, rest in the shade of the tree lined square, until called to duty on short sight seeing trots round the town. The square peppered with trees and benches makes an idyllic resting spot for those on two legs to ponder the architecture, the history and the lives of its residents past and present. Ever gentle waves lap the harbour which is crammed with gaily painted boats offering cruises to the islands, secluded beaches and for the more adventurous open sea cruises to further flung islands. Our hotel garden lay at the side of the river estuary and from there we watched the world go by as well as enjoying the activities of the many colourful birds that visited the garden or took in a spot of fishing and all the while doing our best to absorb the sunshine and blue skies for later retrieval.