Climbing waterfalls in Chapada Diamantina!

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I have just returned from a glorious week in one of the most breath-taking places I have ever been, Chapada Diamantina national park in Brazil.  I experienced a totally different side of Brazil and enjoyed adventures of the non-surfing, non-shoulder straining kind.

Here’s a little photo journal of my trip!

The start of my first hike, with the little town of Lencois in the background. In Lencois, the roads that aren’t cobblestone are dirt, and no one uses cellphones. You just tell your friends that you will meet them on the street, and you are pretty much assured that you will find them in one of the colonial style plazas, lined with pretty pastel-painted houses.

Here’s our brave international team, with Germany, Denmark, the U.S.A. and Brazil all represented. Our awesome guides Marquinhos and Puma are on the ends.

Heading into the wild!

Puma’s name should already tell you something about him. This picture should tell you another thing. He is pretty much a ninja. (don’t worry, the snake doesn’t bite!)

We hiked a couple miles up this magical dry river bad, surrounded by canyon walls on either side. We had to keep our voices low so as not to provoke the killer bees who live in the trees. Yikes!! It was exciting…

The first of many enchanted waterfalls we encountered

We climbed this waterfall! Like monkeys, scrambling up trees and rocks, or like Puma said “puma style.” It was amazing, and at moments terrifying.

Puma has no fear, standing on the edge of the steep waterfall we just climbed, snapping pictures.

And at the top, another waterfall to climb!

Puma is not only a trail ninja, leading us through the unmarked and hidden byways of the Chapada, but also a kitchen ninja. Quite a treat to have someone cook you breakfast and dinner while camping! Thanks Puma…

Pretty posh breakfast on the trail!

Cooling off after a big climb

This spider walked out to great us as we were navigating some exposed rocky scrublands on the ridge. It was the size of my hand.

This is Fumaca Falls, a really really really tall waterfall!! 2nd tallest in Brazil. There’s a little overhanging ledge where you can lie on your tummy and look down – a mind-altering experience…

Me with Fumaca Falls in the background

Savoring the scenery

Hiking out at the prettiest time of day… Thank you Chapada Diamantina!

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