Chapada Diamantina!!

Lencois Travel Blog

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I have been having an absolutely AMAZING time here in Lençois. It's right in the heart of the national park, Chapada Diamantina. This is, by far, the most beautiful place I have ever been. Were staying in this cottage in the woods right near a river with the sweetest family ever. The first day we met someone who took us to these natural pools of water that look like hot tubs built into the rock. The next day we went Poço Diabo, a waterfall, and swam around there. Then we hiked to a cave and went snorkeling in this crystal blue water, we had to use flashlights and all. After that we went to the biggest cave Ive ever seen and had a tour with a lantern... the cave is over 25km long (we didn't see the whole thing, it would take days of hiking and camping). We met some nice Brasilians and went to Poço Encantado the next day, which is one of the most incredible natural beauties Ive ever seen. Its a crystal clear pool of water in a cave that glows a neon blue due to the stalagmites and the crystals in the cave, when the sun hits it just right, theres a beam of fluorescent turquoise light reflecting in it... its breathtaking! After that we went to another pool in a cave, not quite as blue, but still fluorescent and went snorkeling around there. So cool that my camera goes underwater! I got some beautiful pictures!

Yesterday we finally go to do abseiling. We did it from about 300ft waterfall called Cachoeira de Mosquito. The waterfall was beautiful, and it was really great because me, my friend, and the 2 other people with us were the only ones there. Unfortunately, After much excitement, I was terribly disappointed with my experience. I had to go last cuz the big Brazilian guy who was terrified just had to go first, then his girlfriend had to go after him, than my friend who doesn't really speak Portuguese had to go before me because I had to translate, so by the time I finally went, I kind of lost the enthusiasm (since of course, I wanted to go first). Well, the beginning, all went well. Lucas (the guide) kept saying I was a natural... it was so great! all up until I could no longer move. My friend who went before me didn't follow the path she was supposed to and ended up messing up the protective mats they had set up down the cliff. That mixed with the mud from the cliff and the water from the waterfall got the rope all tangled up and I got stuck hanging over 200ft midair above the waterfall. Lucas had to tie himself up and come down to save me. I had to climb onto him while he untangled my took over 30 minutes. I am sooo sore and bruised today from all that hanging. I wasn't scared, Lucas clearly knew what he was doing, and I was attached to him, but it just really sucked. I was pissed that my experience got messed up. To top it off, by the time I actually could descend, the protective mats, covered in mud, fell on my face and I got showered with mud the entire way down. It was horrible. I dont think I will be doing that again.

Later we went out with Lucas (my hero) and Eric (the other abseiling guide) and got to know the town better. Man this town is just adorable! These two guys are from Sao Paulo and are all into extreme sports, abseiling is a joke for them, but they get paid doing it. After 5 days here I can go around town and say hi to all kinds of people. It is so nice to not have to worry about getting robbed all the time, or avoiding all the crazies and the people trying to grab you calling you beautiful. Its going to be quite a culture shock to go back to the crazy city of Salvador!

Today we went on a 12 mile hike to the highest waterfall in Brasil and then went swimming in some other waterfalls nearby. It has been an incredible trip and I have fallen in love with this place! I want to buy a nice little place in the woods here and rent out rooms when I retire. You must see this place! I am killing time until our bus leaves at 11:30pm. We get in at 6am and I have class at 9, then private English lessons, and I've already made plans to go out tomorrow after that... Oh well, I'm young, and only have a month left!

PS. I am coming home early. I will be back Nov 20, but only for a few days. Eric will be down for Thanksgiving to help me move to Seattle that weekend!!
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11,765 km (7,310 miles) traveled
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photo by: esterrene