If you guessed Bahia, Brazil (Elena and Susana) then you were correct!
The only time I’ve ever been to Brazil was when I was in the fourth grade. My flight to Buenos Aires had a layover in Rio de Janeiro, but when we were finally ready to take off, our plane got a flat tire! That’s right. I have been in two school buses, one airplane, and three cars (if I’m counting correctly… one on the LIE, one on the NJ turnpike, and one in Kona, Hawaii… I may have missed one) with flat tires. Now, if I was a little heavier I’d be pretty offended. But I’m going to chalk those numbers up to bad luck. Anyway, we got to spend the night in a BEAUTIFUL hotel in Rio, and I just remember being “strongly discouraged” from taking a walk around the hotel. My mom, being a sassy 4 ft 11” (and three quarters!) Latina, said F-that and took me, my two sisters and one brother (at the time…) for a very scary walk around the hotel. I was too distracted by the men with machine guns to notice the city, unfortunately. I guess I’ll just have to go back some day!
Read on, for Missy’s Mystery (Missytery?) Snapshot revelation…
So much time has been spent daydreaming of the lands afar that I figured the time has come to contribute to everyone else’s wanderlust.
This photo comes to you from a faraway place called Lençois, nestled in the heart of Bahia in northeastern Brazil. I took this photo in February 2008. I was living in Salvador da Bahia (after quitting my job to travel, naturally) and took a vacation with five friends to escape the craziness of Carnaval and get a little R and R.
Lençois was founded by diamond miners in the mid-1800s. The word itself means “sheets” because, when the pioneers came to the town, the white tents of the miners looked like sheets that were stretched out to dry. We ended up using Lençois as our base camp to explore the nearby national park, called Chapada Diamantina, which has lots of trails and waterfalls, as well as other adventures that were eagerly awaiting our visit.
We hiked every day, including trekking over boulders (which were in water), saw lots of grottoes, and took part in zip-lining, snorkeling, and rappelling. The relaxation factor ended up being zero, but the fun level was off the charts. The small town still manages to have bars with entire menus of cachaça, and a low-key hipster vibe. Backpackers abound, and it’s just a very go-with-the-flow kind of atmosphere…even if it seems like the activities offered generally involve signing a waiver before partaking.
Lençois (and Chapada Diamantina in general) seems like Colorado to me: outdoorsy and full of nature, in a “turn-the-corner-and-there’s-another-outdoor-adventure-to-be-had” sort of way. I can’t really pigeonhole Lençois as being *only* a hiking place or *only* a swimming place or *only* any other kind of place, but it offers a whole paint palette of options for the athletically-inclined as well as for the lazily-reclined.
To find out more about the wonders of Chapada Diamantina, check out my blog from February 10, 2008 (http://andsmilestogobeforeisleep.blogspot.com/2008/02/but-wait-there-arent-any-more-steps.html). Tavel and I discuss similar themes! Read both!
Anyway, a big obrigada to Ms. Tavel herself for featuring this submission on her oft-viewed site. Hats off to you, my co-conspirator. Cheers to many more days of wanderlusting and lustwandering! (I’m going to pretend that’s a word.)