Monday, 5 April 2010

Chapada Diamantina With a Broken Compass.

Bahia is a magical place. Candomble was touched upon in the previous post, it's history and African-based culture impossible to describe and the beauty of it's people heart stopping.

But it's also special geographically. It's not all about Salvador or the beautiful endless beaches with the coco trees. The bay has a long colonial history since the sugar cane plantations of the 17th-18th centuries up until the recent tobacco industry. And at the extreme west there is the immense "sertao" the semi-arid inland with the far-between towns, and inhospitable climate. Right between them is the National Park of Chapada Diamantina.

With its main hub being the beautiful town of Lençois (and secondarily Palmeiras) it's an astonishingly beautiful place, with incredible diversity and a perfect place for hiking. I'm not the sporty type, so only a few days of (light) trekking, swimming in ponds and rivers, exploring mile-long caves, freshening up under a waterfall and climbing atop some nice mounts was just perfect. The fancy Cachoeira da Fumaça, the waterfall that is so tall that the water evaporates before it reaches the ground (it's true!) eluded me. And the mini-Pantanal of Marimbus with its waterways and huge lilies too. Nevertheless, Morro do Pai Inacio, Gruta da Lapa Doce, Poço do Diabo and Gruta Azul were rewarding enough.

A few pics for a taste and I'm out of Bahia. I already miss it really, my heart belongs to Bahia. What a place!

And as always, more pics from various places can be accesses through  my flickr page. Greetings.