Wednesday, 2 September 2009

An awesome day! 16 August 2009

When we missed our bus from Brasilia to Alto Paraiso we weighed up our options; if we couldn`t exchange our tickets for a later bus should we even bother with Alto Paraison? Should we jsut skip it and go straigh to Rio? But at the same time we knew the only reason we went to Brasilia was to reach Alto Paraiso and it would make Brasilia a massive waste of time if we didn`t carry on to Alto Paraiso.

After the last two days in Alto Paraiso I am so glad we were able to exchange our ticket!

Marcello (who is one of only four English speaking guides in A.P) came to pick us up at 8 and we were on the road.

BEcause we had arrived at Alto Paraiso in the dead of night, we had no idead what the landscape around the town was like. As we dorve out of the town at 8am we were in Africa. Plains, Mountains, Openm cloudless skies, palm trees and wild grassses. Marcello tolf us that before the plates splite up Brazil and Africa were right next to each other. As such the landscape of this part of Brazil is the same as that in the Afiran savannah. But this area was known as Cerrado, because the exosystems found in the area are different to those found in Africa.

The Road out to Parque Nacional Chapada de Vedeira was incredible. And Laura and I were ridiculously giddy for the whol car journey.

By 9.30am we were signed in the park and we bagn to take our first steps into the park chasing Waterfalls.

All aound us as we walked there were amazing things to behold. We walked along in total awe of this incredible landscaope that surrounded us. Marcello was a great guid and explaine dall about bush fires and plant evolution. He pointed out trees and plants that had evolved to resist being charred in fired.

Although we normally think of fires as being bad for the environment, the natural fires here in the cerrado were actually good for the area as it mantains the biodiversity of the area.

We cracked on the Macro function on our cameras and took lots of pretty pictures of beautiful and bright flowers.

As we wandered along M;arcello stopped us and made us listen to a noise... onlt the noiuse of a Brazilian Road Runner! Veyr cool (we actually caught a glimpse of a road runner later in the day!) It wasn`t quite the shrill meep meep that we all know and love, but it was cool to hear one in the wild.

After a few hours walking we came to the first waterfall. 130m! MASSIVE. Obviously it was not on the same scale as Iguazu, but it was still absolutely incredible! The water at the bottom of the waterfall was so incredibly clear.

We trekked further into the wild and to another waterfall, this was only 90m, but it was pretty incredible still! We quickly tore off our clothes and jumped into the crystal waters. It was a perfect temperature for swimming. Even though there wre a fe other people around it was still absolutely idyllic.

We ate our Brazilian pic nic whilst sitting on a rock. It was perfect.

After lunch we had a steep climb to the next lake and waterfall! This was my favourite waterfall. I wasn`t very high at all, maybe 3 foot, but we sat right by the rocks where the water falls over the edge and had the best masssage ever as our bodies were pummelled by the pounding water. I didnt want to leave this spot. I had to physically hook myself onto a rock so that the force of the water didn`t carry me away.

Driving home after our long day of trekking and swimming was incredible again. The sun was starting to set and the light that fell on the cerrado was beautiful. We stopped part way to take the most spectacular photos of the most spectacular view and then marcello pointed to two palm trees... with two macaws sitting on the top! Amaze! We crept up to get a close look but just as we got close they flew off. It was beautiful to see their colours as they flew away.

Before dropping us back at the psoada, Marcello had one more treat for us. Laura and I both really wanted to see a toucan so he took us to a spot where he said we might see one.

We saw twenty two! 22 toucans in one tree! It was amazing. MArcello laughed at us for getting all excited, the lcals see toucans as pests. BUt to us they were just amazing!

We couldn`t stop smiling all night! We were the hapiest girls in the whole of Brazil. Such an awesome day!

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