Boats, 4WDs, monkeys and more sand
21.03.2012 - 23.03.2012
We left the following morning with a few very drunken passengers who arrived home slightly later than our planned departure time. We even ha to make the journey across the dunes twice as one of them left his mobile phone behind at the hotel.
Spine enough though we were reunited with the truck an making the short journey to parnaiba, the start point of our three day tour of lancois maranhenses national park. We arrived in parnaiba to find a cool little hotel with a pool but a pretty nothing town so most of us stayed in the hotel and chilled by the pool that day.
The next day we left the truck behind and took speed boats along the parnaiba delta. It was a lovely long wide river, bordered with palm trees, coconut trees and loads of other greenery. We stopped along the way when our driver spotted a couple of iguanas hanging out at the sides of the river and then a whole family of spider monkeys. There were lots of birds too. It was a lovely drive.
We made a stop at a sand dune, walking up the dunes and playing in the sand. A quick swim and a hermit crab race. We also stopped at another spot where there was loads of crabs and the drivers went to get some massive ones for us to look at and hold. One of them was purple with really hairy legs. It was pretty nice, as far as crabs go.
The boat rode took about 4 hours until we arrived in tutuoia where we were met by four by fours to take us across the dunes to cabure, our hostel which was located in the middle of nowhere along miles and miles of deserted beaches.
The drive to the hostel was like a roller coaster ride. Or driver was pretty freaky and was throwing us around all over the place as she weaves between the wooden posts that were sticking out of the sand all along the beaches. Despite that though, it was an amazing drive. The beaches were beautiful. We didn't see one other person on them, the surf was pretty strong and the sun was shining down on us.
The hostel really was isolated between the dunes. We had cool little huts to sleep in with hammocks on the porches. After a couple of coconuts we decided to create a game of coconut Olympics which turned out to be more fun than we anticipated with everyone joining in.
We played coconut shot put, coconut lawn bowls, coconut relay carrying the coconut between your elbows and then on your head. Then the games continued without the coconuts, playing long jump and football until it rained pretty hard and we retired to our hammocks for a rest.
I had a pretty early one that night, but slept to the sound of the gays getting annoyed with everyone for the frustrating game of "I have never" (which I hate) around the camp
The next day day we left by speed boat again with our guide Claud for a trip along the preguica river. Our first stop was to a lighthouse in Mandacaru, a local fishermans
Village. Where we also saw the fishermen cutting up stingray and laying out the other catch to dry on the side of the river. There were nice views at the top of the lighthouse, but it mainly made us sweat as it was so hot! We carried on the river until we reached our next spot, a little island with more sand dunes and over a hundred monkeys!!!
I ignored the sand dunes completely and spent the whole hour watching the monkeys. They came right up to us wanting to take our coconuts. They were very funny carrying them around. One of them had a really funny walk which was only made
Worse when carrying two half coconuts. We watched them eating them. Took lots of photos and also played with the raccoon who was there. The raccoon didn't like Andrew who smells bad, and also scratched the hell out of
Rudi. No signs of rabbies just yet though.
We left the island and made our way to our home for the night barreirinhas. A very funny little town with sand dunes, lots of little restaurants and not a lot else. Out hostel was nice though and had a really small private "beach" area where I spent the rest of the afternoon.
Claud was due to meet us in the evening but after waiting 30 minutes we left without him and went for dinner in a restaurant overlooking the river with live music.
Eventually Claud showed up and took us all to a "reggae party" just over the dune. It wasn't a reggae party, it was a man playing keyboard really badly accompanied by karaoke style singer. It also wasn't just over the dune it was in deepest darkest barreirinhas. Not only was it rubbish it felt really dodgy so a few of us left straight away and headed back to the hostel. Turns out it was pretty dodgy and Claud our guide wasn't a particularly nice guy either.
The next day was the final day of our tour here. We met Claud in the
Morning and were taken out
On four by fours to explore the sand dunes. We had an hour long journey there and this was the best one yet. The tracks were so windy and bumpy we were fish tailing all over the place and rarely staying in our seats on the back of the truck. It was raining pretty hard so we were pretty soaked and the road was full of deep puddles of water that came up to the windows of the truck in places. It was fun!
The sand dunes were amazing, then went on as far as you could see. So cool and there wasn't another person out there when we left. We took a swim in one of the lagoons and were rolling down the dunes into the lagoon. A perfect day apart from the pissing rain.
We walked back a different route along the dunes. There are normally more lagoons up to two metres deep to see but this is an unusually dry we season so they were dried out when we were there, leaving only wet quick sand to play about in.
It was a fun morning completed with another roller coaster ride back to the hotel before departing for our next destination, Sao luis.....