Moe and Bev went off for a few days sailing on Chessie. That left us free to
take the boat out of the marina and spend a few days cruising All Saints
Bay. We sailed 8 of the 12 miles to Fate Island but had to motorsail for the
last 4 miles, anchoring in about 4 metres. Next morning we sailed on towards
the bridge joining the mainland to Ilha de Itaparica dropping our anchor
near the Tororo waterfall, taking the rib ashore to the beach, which is
completely covered at high tide. The water fall was dry. We then took the
rib to another beach, no more than 500metres and swam in the warm water.
Both anchorages were quiet and pleasant and being in company with Voyageur
and Tzigany, the two nights away from the marina were quite sociable.
There were a number of canoes, the occupants of which were fishing
We passed several private islands, two looked as if they were protected by
stone walls encircling them.
On Tuesday 15th February we were up early to meet our tour guide who was
going to take us inland to Chapada Diamantina.
As we were accompanying David and Susan from Voyageur and John and Jenny
from Tzigany, we had booked 2 cars, one of which didnât arrive until at
least 8.30, having been held up in the heavy traffic. Both cars had seen
better days. One, driven by the Belgian tour guide, who spoke several
languages including English, had a faulty air conditioning system so if one
wished to hear details of the terrain through which we were driven, one had
to cope with the heat by just leaving the windows open. His assistant, who
spoke only Portuguese, did have air conditioning although the odometer
showed that his car had done well in excess of 500 thousand kilometers and
his tires were quite bald. What was interesting was that his car ran off
We drove through varying terrain, bush, pasture, rolling hills, mountainous,
stopping around 1.30 for lunch at a pousada. There was a huge selection of
food on offer including salads, pasta, chicken, steak, fruit and desserts.
What we found most interesting was that the plate was weighed and the price
paid was per kilogram.
We next went to a privately owned, well established, cleverly designed
orchid garden where, in a separate area, relics from the days when this
region was mined, for gold and then diamonds, were on display. The water
from the waterfall was clean enough to drink and several of our party did
Driving on to the national park of Morro do Pai Inacio, we climbed
1066metres to the summit. The views of the rest of Serra da Bacia were
Arriving at the picturesque, small town of Lencois, we drove to the rustic
Pousada Helia, built against and over the rocks, on multi-levels, with a
small swimming pool, this is where we stayed for the next four nights.
The owner had purchased the Pousada some sixteen years earlier and spent
nine years gradually developing it, as the money to do so became available.
Much use had been made of the local natural stone and wood.
Next morning, after a continental style breakfast, we left the Pousada and
walked alongside the river towards the bridge into the town. Horses grazed
on the grassy banks and the rapidly flowing water was the colour of coca
cola. We walked along the cobbled streets and through Lencois adorned with
such stunning architecture.
As we were walking upwards, we passed a small, semi-enclosed area at the
side of the path. Two pipes were spouting water from a level of around
8feet, to the solid floor. A man was preparing to shower.
We took a track off the road and climbed onto rock, following the Rio
Lencois upwards; walking over the multi-colored rock of pink, red, yellow,
blue, grey and black, very pitted by erosion. The flow of the water was like
radids in places and waterfalls in others, the water was predominantly the
colour of coca cola.
As we returned to the village, we watched as a local man washed his dog in
one of the pools. Further down, on the edge of town, a number of local women
were doing their laundry. Some hung up to dry, some adorning fences and some
strewn across the rocks.
After lunch, we drove to Gruta Lapa Doce, a cave that is still being
explored. We were told that 12 kilometres of cave has been found and they
anticipate that there is a further 40 kilometres still to be explored.
A guide took us into the cave which lacked illumination so, after a short
while, we were given torches so that we might see where we were walking and
to illuminate the stalactites and stalagmites. Some were huge structures
resembling angels, an owl, a dinosaur skeleton, the nativity, or whatever
your imagination wanted them to be. After about an hour, we could see light
ahead. As we approached the light, the sunshine lit the rock and made it
look like rich seams of gold.
Returning to the Pousada we saw a complete rainbow. It looked as if we would
drive right under the arch but the road twisted and curved and the rainbow
The small town of Lencois was originally a rich mining town. As we walked
across the bed of the river that morning, it was easy to imagine people
panning for rich rewards.
Day three, it took an hour and a half to drive to the beginning of the climb
to reach Cascada da Fumaca waterfall. Dick and I didnât go on this trip but
we were advised later that the scenery on the journey was worth the trip. It
took 2.5hours for the party to reach the waterfall, walking thigh deep
through blood red water as they crossed the plateau. Once the waterfall was
reached, in order to see the water spouting from the cliffside, it was
necessary to lie flat and lean over, with one or two people holding the feet
for stability. It was a long and tiring day.
Taking advantage of not going on the trip to Cascada de Fumaca, Dick spent
most of the day on his laptop. Unfortunately HSBC fraud department had taken
back in error, some of the money they had refunded following the debit card
cloning in South Africa. Once again our bank account was emptied.
Relaxing over a drink that evening, a gigantic, white moth settled on one of
the lampshades. It had to have a wingspan of at least eight inches.
Day 4 was free until 2pm when we then drove to Rio Mucgezinho, walking
across the rocks and a bridge made up of a couple of thin tree branches,
tied together, admiring the waterfalls and the pools of coca cola colored
water. There is also a Pousada where you can sleep in a cave house, complete
with its own small WC.
We left Lencois at 9am on day five, stopped for lunch en-route at a
restaurant where you could eat as much meat as you wanted, the waiters keep
coming with skewers of steak, lamb, pork, chicken, etc. to accompany the
salad dishes available on the buffet; finally getting back to the marina
just before 4pm.
That evening, we attended the celebration, in a large room above the marina
offices, of the engagement of Annette and James from Ocean Jasper. Annette
has a business in Mackay, Australia which is where they met. James lives in
the US. We wish them much happiness and a long life together.