Sand, sand and guess what?

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

More sand!

Left Sao Luis on 31st in morning in a rush to get to the bus station for our bus here. Left at 08.45 and got in to Barrerinhas at about 13.30.

Within 20 mins of arriving we were in a Pousada (Brasilia - 35 Reals a night inc break) and on a tour leaving at 14.00. Impressive stuff eh?

Our 4 x 4 open topped jeep took about 8 of us into the national park over a river and through a few to our stopping place. The drive was very good fun if a bit scary in parts with the deep sand.

Left our shoes in the jeep and wandered up the dunes which was incredibly ungraceful and hard work. To think I missed the gym before - it was like going up a step machine for ages. Once we got to the top the views of the dunes were amazing - white sand for miles and the odd blue lake from rain water. This is the best time of year to come here as its the wet season and the lakes form in the dips. We wandered around the first lake and onto the next one where we swam for a while which was amazing. Carried onto the fish lake where there are apparently big fish but we still swam anyway - was v hot and no shade!

Carried on back to the big dunes at the start and sat and watched the brilliant orange sunset with the view. Fantastic and just what we wanted to see. Never thought it would be in Brazil though!

Back to the hostel in an even more precarious ride as the jeeps seemed to race each other home in the near dark. Got home in one piece. Went out for dinner to a restaurant on the Rio Preguicas - had fresh fish and prawns which was v nice and then booked another trip for tomorrow.

1st - still here and up early and out to get a boat up the rio to a few towns still in the national park. First stop was Vassares where there are more towering dunes and a couple of cafes. This was even more hard work to get up but felt like we at least had some good exercise. The sand formations make for excellent photos (will download soon - promise!) but the tiny sand particles get everywhere esp with all the wind blowing around.

Back on the boat we head further north to Mandacaru which is a small fishing town where the lighthouse dominates the landscape. We walked up the lighthouse and admired the view of the river, dunes, sea and town. Back on boat for a bit to Cabbure which is a town - well more of a resort - on the dunes between the river and the sea. Walked to the sea side and went for a swim but quite a strong current and sun very strong. Had a wander around the hotels here which are pretty pricey but look quite nice. Had lunch of fresh fish - is odd that you order one portion here for 2 people or 1/2 for one. Having said that 1/2 portion is usually enough for both of us.

Got boat all the way back to Barrerinhas and wandered around town trying to work out how we can get to our next destination and how much it will cost. Will update soon about it as it will take a while!

Watched the sunset on the dunes in the town overlooking the river and am frantically checking my email whenever we can as my sis is due to give birth any minute. No sign yet though.

Today got up early and decided to do the cheap option to get to Jericoacoara (further east than here). We did think of doing the jeep in 7 hours from here but costs a lot plus I reckoned that the journey is often the best part of the experience not just the getting there. This has been mentioned several times since you will not be surprised to hear when you hear about the following adventure!

We left our hostel this morning to get the 10am 4 x 4 to Tutoia. We got there at 9.30 to find 2 of them nearly full and about to leave. Missed the one with proper seats so ended up sitting on the open backed jeep on a plank of wood for a few hours. Was a combination of fun and pain if you can imagine that. It is all sand dunes here so was very bumpy while you are also clinging on for dear life! We past several villages with straw huts and went through streams etc and eventually arrived in the next town Paulino Neves which is about 2/3 of the way to Tutoia. Arrived here at 12.15.
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