Trekking in Parque Nacional Chapada Diamantina

We started Friday with a wonderful breakfast. A large and bountiful buffet was waiting for us in the middle of a beautiful garden. Lots of different fruits here and the juices just for breakfast are amazing!

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Our guide Tia from the agency Nas Alturas was right on time, picking us up at 8:30. He is French, from Strasbourg and speaks excellent German. Next one to be picked up is Vinny, a journalist from São Paulo who now lives in Vancouver. He also speaks German since he attended a German school for nine years. The last two are an American couple from New York, Alexandra and Justin, who now live in São Paulo. Quite an international mix.

Our first stop is Poço do Diabo, a river that forms little and larger pools of water with waterfalls in between where one can get a natural massage. After a short trek a stunning view awaited us and also cool water to freshen up.

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After an hour of swimming and relaxing we are off to Lapa Doce, a huge cavern with all kinds of crystallized form, stalagmites and so on. On the way we stop for a belle vue.

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We arrived at the cavern and had our lunch first before going down. During lunch we got to know our group a bit better. All of them are amazing individuals, wide travelled and very international. We also found out that Alex and Justin had their five year anniversary today and started teasing them that today would be the perfect day for Justin to propose. This became the running joke of the day, every 30 minutes or so somebody else would start again. Often not even on purpose but we always came back to the proposal. You could notice that Justin was not taking the teasing well.

We made our way down to the Lapa Doce and walked around with flashlights for an hour. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

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20130216-114609.jpgThis is a fruit called Umbu, very delicious!

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20130216-115032.jpgThere is even something growing in the dark!

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After the cavern (better the trek up again), we were in need of a swim. And this was also our next stop, Pratinha. Also a river that flows partly underground where you can go snorkeling in blue water. It is best to do so during winter time cause then the water is clearer and more blue due to the position of the sun. Therefore we all just enjoyed the cool water in this amazing light blue river.

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20130216-120003.jpgOur guide Tia

20130216-120130.jpgTia gave us 40 minutes to relax and then we were off to our last stop on this excursion, Pai Inácio. Driving over something like a piste for 30 minutes we arrived well before sunset. 15 minutes of ‘climbing’ brought us to the top and to this stunning view.

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20130216-120609.jpgOur new friend Vinny

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You can see there is quite a lot of vegetation and also an orchid growing on top.

As I said before there was quite a lot of teasing going on about this being the perfect day to propose. Justin just looked miserable after a while whenever the topic came up again. But still sooner or later the word ‘proposal’ would be mentioned again. So on top of Pai Inácio Vinny set a good example by proposing to me.
Then Sylvia started with a story that she has the right to marry couples in case of grave danger and haste.

All of a sudden Justin went down on one knee and proposed to Alex. Right there on top of Pai Inácio. Apparently he had it planned this way all along, but forgot the ring in São Paulo. With all the teasing going on, he felt worse about leaving the ring at home. But it is the intention that counts, and the moment was perfect. I am a sucker for romance and as far as romance goes, this could not have been any better.

This was a wonderful reason to celebrate, not that I usually need one. But to have one is of course way better. We decided to meet at the market this evening and go out for dinner together. We had such a pleasant evening, time was flying by. Lots of beers, caipis and Coke Zeros later, we called it a night. Sylvia and I just started to dread our 15 minutes walk home. Through the dark and uphill. Quite difficult. But when angels travel…
One of employees of the Pousada passed by, just when we all started to go our separate ways, and he gave us a lift.
Today was an extremely perfect (© Alexandra) day.
Yours, Pollybert

PS: I am writing this in the garden of our Pousada, looking at the pool and listening to some kind of beetles which are calling ‘SiSi, SiSi’ every once in a while.
PPS: Lencois really brought us luck since we could also get some money.

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