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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Brazil - 5 March, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Hotel grounds, Pousada da Neblina, Ubajara S0350.614' W04054.071' 858 m
Parque Nacional de Ubajara . . . 1 km (by cable car)
-  Cable car and visit to cave . . . 1 km (on foot)
Hotel grounds, Hotel Fazenda, Sete Cidades S0408.809' W04142.183' 224 m .
Parque Nacional Sete Cidades . . . .
Finish Hotel grounds, Hotel Fazenda, Sete Cidades S0408.809' W04142.183' 224 m 168 km

Leg 3 Total:

5,113 km

Leg 2 Total:

12,140 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

27,034 km

 

Weather: Began cloudy and foggy with occasional light rain and hot and humid.  Fog and rain cleared in the afternoon.  Hot at night.

 

 

We have a busy day today.  In the morning we pack up our camp and head over to Parque Nacional de Ubajara.  We first drop off some people who want to walk down to the caves and the rest of us then head over to the cable car.  It has started to rain, so some of us are a bit lazy and decide to take the easy way down into the gully.

 

The national park protects the remains of the forests that used to cover the mountains and hills in this region.  In addition, there is a cave system.  We arrive at the other gate and head over to the cable car.  The rain comes and goes in sheets.  We wait for the cable car to take us down.

 

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It is a great ride down.  The cable car heads out and virtually falls off the edge of the tall cliff and swoops down the 400 meters to the entrance to the cave complex.  We sweep into and out of the scattered clouds that drift through the huge gully.  We arrive at the bottom and head over to the cave system - Gruta de Ubajara.  We meet up with our guide who takes us through the cave.  It is quite amazing - full of stalactites and stalagmites.  There are all types and we take our time wandering through the many rooms.

 

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The place is full of bats and they fly around as we check out the many formations.  Many of the formations resemble different figures and animals and are all appropriately named.  Once done, we head out of the cave system and back to the cable car.  The ride back up is fun, as we go into and out of the clouds and the cliff face slowly emerges as we head up and pass the other cable car as it heads down..

 

As the walkers took longer than us, we relaxed at the kiosk at the top of the cliff and had some yummy freshly squeezed fruit juice.  That is one of the best parts of Brazil - all the fresh fruit juice that is made from all these exotic fruits from the jungle.  Once the walkers join us, we head off.

 

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We have a three hour drive to our next destination.  We arrive at the hotel Fazenda near Sete Cidades and set up camp in the grounds of the hotel.  After a quick lunch, we head off to explore the Parque Nacional Sete Cidades.

 

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This is a stunning place.  It is named Sete Cidades (the Seven Cities) after the series of eroded rock formations that resemble what some people thought were a Phoenician outpost in the New World.  The park also protects the spiky cacti and stubby trees of the semi-arid high sertao.  This is in strong contrast to the lush forests of the nearby Ubajara. They have some fun signs that tell you what you can do and not do.  We felt that some could be interpreted in different ways (see what you can come up with).

 

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We spend the next three hours going from one "city" to the next.  They are all a bit different and it is amazing to look at these strange and fascinating rock formations, all the result of erosion by wind and rain.  Many of the rock formations are covered with rock carvings and paintings.  There is even a huge arc de triumph.

 

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Our favorite is city number four.  This one has natural gates, tunnels, figures and even a map of Brazil.  You walk into the huge rock formation through and arch and passageway that would be the envy of any ancient city.  Then as you wander through the various walkways, there are fantastic "carvings" and formations along the way.  We are sorry to leave the magical place.

 

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Back at the camp (in the grounds of the hotel), it is our turn to cook dinner.  We cook up some pasta, but the highlight is the crepes that are prepared by John for dessert.  They are individually made, so it takes some time.  Paolo helps out with the cooking and flipping.  But they are yummy - especially the toppings - and well worth the wait.  Everyone queues up for their share.

 

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