During my stay in Lençois I stayed at Pousada Alto do Cajuiero, owned by Ronaldo. I was lucky that there was a group of tourists from Fortaleza there that Ronaldo knew the guides of. Apparently not everyone would be going on the trip so there was space on the bus for me to tag along. I got taken on the most popular excursion in the area which involved a fair drive out of Lençois to a nearby town to see Gruta Lapa Doce, one of the biggest caves in Brazil. We walked through with a guide who was explaining the rocks, but I mainly stood back trying to take took photos. It proved a challenge cos everyone had their own torch and had fun waving them around seemingly randomly getting in the way of my attempts to expose the shots well. Once I got past that, it was a really interesting place with a variety of really funky formations.
Up around Pai Inácio
In the bus around Pai Inácio
In Gruta Lapa Doce
After Lapa Doce we went to another, smaller, place called Pratinha, a fazenda (farm) home to the Gruta Azul and a place to go swimming. Apparently the caves in Chapada used to be free, but they were now all charging money, which was frustrating. Pratinha was a perfect example of that with it being 20 reals to just go down to the lake to swim. They didn’t seem to care about checking wristbands, so I didn’t get one and just didn’t swim. On top of that, there was the chance to snorkel, zipline, have your picture taken underwater and a variety of other activities – all of course costing more and more. I skipped that and just sat around enjoying the view.
The end of the day was to climb Morro do Pai Inácio, which involved taking a bus most of the way up and then … paying 5 reals ($2) to climb up as someone had decided to put a fence up. I can’t imagine that they own the hill, so I just thought it a bit ridiculous again. However, it was easily worth the money as the views from the top as the sun was going down were breathtaking. The video I shot captures part of it, but it’s definitely a bit windy. I need to work out how to edit that down for future videos. Maybe watch but with the volume off.
Walking around on Pai Inácio (windy)
Sun going down on Pai Inácio
Capoeira – Traditional Brazilian martial art/dance
One other outing was to a local swimming place with Nick, a Londoner who spoke full on cockney constantly. He’s been in Lençois for 6 months, and travelling around South America for a good while before that, but goes at a much slower pace than I do staying months on end in places. Sure, we didn’t always agree, but being able to have those kind of discussions about the state of your country with people in your own language is definitely something I miss. No matter how good my Spanish and Portuguese are, they’ll never get to that level of complete effortlessness.