Saturday, 27 September 2008
Lencois is a small town, once a diamond mining village, in the Chapada Diamantina area of Brazil. No, I had never heard of it either. But we decided to stop off there to break up the hellish 2 day journey accross to the Pantanal. 6 hours away fom Salvador, it seemed like a good place to stay a couple of days and enjoy the countryside. The whole vibe was very different from the coastal places we had been to, still laid back but a bit more down-to-earth. We decided on a pousada recommended in the guide book and set off from the bus station in the midday heat. Confidence in Vicci´s map reading skills was high and although the bags were heavy we were looking forward to the friendly guesthouse we had read all about. Quite what the Lonely Planet writer was on when he drew the map I don´t know, although lack of street names did not help, I am not sure. Add to this Vicci´s determination we reach the very top of the hill and soon we were quite lost, incredibly warm and rapidly losing the will to live. Strangely Vicci however was still bouncing around, as if she hadn´t just climbed the equivalent of the Eiger, with a goat strapped to her back. She expressed her doubts about my ability to complete the Inca trail and I expressed doubts I wasn´t about to shout/cry/fall over. Luckily we asked a local man the way and he ordered his son to take us there. The son did not look too impressed.
Once we settled in we picked our tour for the next day, which turned out to be amazing (note to self - learn some new superlatives). Our sleep that night was somewhat disturbed by a drunken German talking endlessely about Onions, and a rooster crowing all night, but other than that it was all good! In the morning we were given our uber-tasty packed lunch and packed off in a Range Rover with Ayrton Senna at the wheel. First we came to a waterfall, much bigger than the last one I visited, so we all stripped off and swam across the lake to play about in the massive jets. Our guide Carlos was a mentalist, jumping around, singing, pushing us down hills, laughing at everything all day long - we wanted to adopt him, he was ace! After that we visited some caves and went deep underground where they turned the lights off, which was really eerie! We saw lots of phallic shaped rock formations, cue lots of sniggering etc, and made a reinactment of the Titanic on the walls in shadows (you probably had to be there). In the afternoon we went to an azure blue lake and ate lunch, witnessed a mini-tornado, looked in some more caves, then went up a a mountain to watch sunset over the region. As you see I am no good at remembering names of things, so you will just have to make it up, I am not sure it matters anyway. We rounded off the day with a lovely dinner of beef steak, with chef´s special sauce, with some people we´d met in Salvdor, then went home to pack and prepare for ANOTHER bloody coach journey to the nations capital, Brasilia.