March 18, 2007
Chapada Diamantina Trek Day 1
I got up plenty early today to ensure I'd be able to meet the group at the designated time of 8:30. Things were a bit out of order when Pierre, Omer, and I got there. The guide who said he'd take us suddenly said he had a big group tomorrow so he couldn't go. Instead, another guide and his brother would take us. It didn't really matter because at least the new guy spoke English. The other unexpected thing was that the group had gotten much bigger. Joining the three of us would be Matias and Ana, two Germans named Ano and Oliver, and a Swiss/Irish couple. So there were nine of us and two guides. Unsurprisingly, we didn't get started until 10:00.
For the first forty-five minutes, we walked along the same path as yesterday toward the water slide. Instead of going all the way down, we crossed the river and worked our way up the hill on the other side, taking a break every ten minutes or so. At the top of the pass, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the region.
Next we went down the other side until we reached a river a the bottom of the valley. We dropped off our packs and walked five minutes downstream to a large swimming pool and a beautiful waterfall, where we relaxed for an hour or so. Next, we picked up our backpacks, walked up the river for another hour, and arrived at camp.
The camping area was on the river by some more small waterfalls. We were told we'd be sleeping in caves, so it wouldn't be necessary to take a tent. However, I was told that since I already had a tent, I should take it. I was glad I did. The "caves" were really just overhanging rocks which would probably flood if it rained. I put my tent up in a nice comfy place away from the caves, cooked a big dinner with Omer and Pierre, and enjoyed the rest of the day in the vast wilderness that surrounded me.