By Hakan Almerfors, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO - First discovered in the 16th century, the colonial history of Paraty (also written Parati) really starts in the 17th century when the Portuguese first constructed a church and larger houses. When it was mandated that all merchant shipping from the the colony of Brazil to Portugal must pass through Rio de Janeiro, Paraty boomed. The so called "gold trail" connected the town with the rich gold mines in Minas Gerais, and tax incomes soared. Sadly a turbulent period of naval battles and piracy followed, and when the gold reserves became depleted in . . .