January 9th, 2007

(no subject)

We left Salvador for Lençois (ç is pronounced like an s). We took a night bus. It dropped us off on the corner in Lençois at 4 in the morning. Virtually everyplace was closed. Many hotels ignored knocks on the door. At least it felt safe. Lençois is famous in all of Brazil as a national park. It think its plateau is its most famous landmark. We made it to the plateau, several waterfalls, and some big cave. We ended up hiking 4 km underground. I got some good pictures from that. We also tried to find the nearest waterfalls on our own. After about 3 or 4 km hiking through the dessert, we decided that it must have been the other trail. We were right and ended up hiking that, too. There is an area with many colors of sand on that trail. The sand is locked up in sandstone. It was very much like giant boulders of blush.

I don't think the environment Lençois liked me: I got a bee sting the first day. The second day I lost my camera. Having a waterproof camera is really cool but there is a problem in that it doesn't float. It came out of my pocket when I jumped into one of these mountain pools I was visiting. I tried to dive after it, but the water was nebulous and I couldn't reach the bottom. I asked for help and learned that it was 12 meters deep. With SCUBA gear, I've been down to about 14m. However, this story has a happy ending since one of the locals could dive down to 30 meters without gear. It only cost me all the money in my pocket to get the camera back.

Once we decided to leave Lençois, it took us two days to get a bus ticket. Now we're back in Salvador. My traveling buddy left her camera with some of my Salvador friends. This will be our second night here. The first night, we arrived late and were hoping to leave early so we just stayed at a LOVE hotel near the bus station. The LOVE hotel was interesting because, though it charged by the hour, there were families staying there. It was nice to be out of the tourist circuit for a little while. Everything was about half as expensive as it would have been in the other places I'd been in Salvador.