Birthday In Brazil
I want to tell you about my Birthday because it just so happens, it was the best day of the trip so far. We decided to hire a car for a few days and head into the countryside for a bit of exploring. We had decided to visit Boca da Pedra (Mouth of Rock) a small area of national Park where the giant rocks all have faces. And one of them has a very large gob. It’s about 300km from the Paraiba River where the boat was anchored and we wanted to have maximum time to look around and take lots of lovely photos so we had to make an early start.
On the day in question we set off at sparrow fart and took the highway north out of town. At first we were surrounded by mile after mile of sugar cane fields. All the ones we could see burning as we approached the coast when we first arrived in Brazil. Then we entered the grass plains full of cows and lots of horses to round them all up with. It’s Cowboy country here for sure. a
We thought Brazil had reputation for good meat and plenty of it. Second, perhaps, only to Argentina. Not so, almost every piece of beef we ate while we were there was tough as old boots. From what we could see the cows in that area were not being bread for their meat, but rather for their leather. We passed more tanneries within a few miles of each other than I have ever seen in my life..
As we progressed towards our intended destination the roads got smaller and smaller and lumpier and lumpier. Finally it was just a severely rutted dirt track that was barely passable in places. Thank god the rainy season was only just beginning or it would have been a total mud bath.
We thought we were lost a bunch of times because when researching the place on the internet it said that 2000 people a week visit there in summer. To see the place now, I think, that hasn’t happened, for a very long time. So much the better for us! We had the whole place entirely to ourselves!! And the silence aside from the wind and the birds and the insects was absolutely mesmerizing.
All the rocks did indeed have faces etched into them. Not man made though. Created by wind, water and erosion over millions of years I suppose. Not just one face either, but as you walked around them, and viewed them from different angles, more and more faces seemed to appear. The place had a real atmosphere: mystical and timeless. You just had to take time to soak it all in. It seemed like the rocks would have liked to whisper their stories to you. To pass on the deep wisdom of all the spirits fossilised inside them, represented by all those faces. Sounds a bit far-fetched I know. Im not really sure I go with that kind of mumbo jumbo, but it did feel like they had a story to tell.
At one end of the park under a huge overhanging rock a shrine to Our Lady Fatima has been built and people go there on pilgrimages on her saints’ day. To accommodate all her followers a huge ugly auditorium has been built where they hold mass in her honour. That concrete monstrosity was so out of place in the midst of such wild beauty.
We had a fantastic day soaking it all in, taking lots of photos, flying the drone, picnicing and hiking around. We had to cut our way through the jungle, as so few people have been there for so long. Nature is fast reclaiming the place for herself. It seems that in that part of the world, nature has an agenda all of its own. What we experienced that day was one of her finest displays.
We would have liked to stay longer. Golden hour with that backdrop would have been a photographers’ wet dream, but we hadn’t planned for an overnight stop. It was still a long way back and the boat is best not left overnight with no-one on board and no-one keeping an eye out. Even though the holding in our spot was pretty good, you never know.
Well, all good things must come to an end sooner or later. That was a “super, smashing , great” day though; and a birthday I’ll always remember. I wonder where I’ll be when the next birthday comes around.
Well dear Squeak, must dash. We are heading off from here soon. As soon as we can get the boat fit and ready for another Atlantic adventure. French Guyana here we come! So I’ll tell you all about that, really soon.
Lots of love Al and of course a big squeeze from Stevie too.