The Road to Lençóis
Lencois Travel Blog› entry 13 of 35 › view all entries
October 12th, 2006 – by: worldcitizen
We woke up before sunrise on Thursday morning to get ready and call a cab to take us to the Rodoviaria (bus station) which was about a 30 minute drive from our house. I was really surprised to see how organized the Rodoviaria was. In the back of my mind I was ridiculously picturing something like a tro-tro station but it turned out to be set up kind of like an airport. It was a bit unclear where our bus was, but several misprounciations of Lencois (we were tempted to prounce it "len-swa" because we had both taken French in high school) and funny looks later, we found the right bus.
I had heard the six hour bus ride was unpleasant but I really enjoyed it. I think most people travel at night but since we traveled during the day, we got to see a lot more. The Bahian countryside was completely new scenery for me. Some of the best travel moments are not the major landmarks and monuments, but the regular lives of regular people far from the tourist centers. The view changed often and it gradually went from tropical to a more arid landscape.
We stopped a few times to pick up and drop off passengers. At one stop I had to go to the bathroom and the bus driver tried to tell me something that I didn't understand.
Back on the bus, we passed by plenty of farms and cowboys and drove through a village that looked like a village in West Africa. All the kids waved as we drove through. At some point I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were in Lencois and surrounded by beautiful flowers and streams and calm. Like many destinations in Brazil, there were people waiting to meet us and offer us their services. We went with the first guy who spoke English and he piled us and a few others in a beat up SUV and drove us into town. The center of town was like a relaxed version of Pelourinho with the cobblestone streets and candy colored colonial buildings side by side.
Like the previous weekend, we had trouble finding a place to sleep because it was a holiday and we were trying to spend as little as possible. We eventually found another 25 Reais per night pousada but with much less amenities than the one we had in Morro. There was a double bed shoved in the corner against the wall with about a foot of space between the bed and the other wall. A dresser was shoved in another corner and in another was a small fan on a stool that had to be moved when we were going in and out of the room. It had one window that looked over the hallway. There was a small toilet room and up the rickety steps were a sink in the hallway and a shower room. It was like a house though, and it had a kitchen and living room that we shared with a Brazilian couple staying in a room upstairs.
After settling in, we explored Lencois. There were many small alleys off the main streets and locals went about their daily lives with their windows and doors wide open. A woman was doing housework, an old man was practicing his saxaphone. People walked in the middle of the streets and moved out of the way every so often for a rickety old car or tour van to come through. We were surrounded by mountains and rivers and there were many different types of flowers and trees I had never seen before. It was just a very charming, beautiful place. We had dinner and then ran into the guy who drove us into town. He was with some friends and one of them was a guide. We agreed to meet with the guide, Marcello, early the next morning so he could take us on a trek to a waterfall the next day. It was all so informal but sometimes in Brazil you have to just go with the flow and hope for the best. The town was much more lively at night. There were tiny bars all playing reggae and larger bars with several tables outside. It looked fun, but we were tired from our early morning and had to be up early the next day so we returned to our tiny room and went to bed.
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