Bijoux de la nature brésilienne

Situé au coeur de Bahia, le parc national Chapada Diamantina est l’un des plus beaux et merveilleux espaces sauvages du Brésil. 

Renzo Taddei nous fait faire une visite guidée de cet endroit magique et nous indique les zones les plus intrigantes à visiter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(photo: Renzo Taddei)

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Pratinha
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(photo: Renzo Taddei)

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Pratinha
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Jewelry of Brazilian Nature
Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil

Renzo Taddai
New York Photographer
July 1999

 

m.gif (555 bytes)y trip to Chapada Diamantina started in Salvador, the colorful and magic capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia. Salvador is the beautiful city of the remarkable writer Jorge Amado, and is amazing and worth the trip by itself.

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(photo: Renzo Taddei)

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The magical beauty of Nature

One of the hundreds waterfalls of the area
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While in Bahia, I decided to visit the National Park of Chapada Diamantina, a wide, wild preservation area known for its beauty. There are three ways to get to the park: by plane (US$300, 1 hour), by bus (US$15, 8 hours) and by car (US$35 per day, 6 hours). I decided to rent a car, and six hours later I was in Lencois, the entrance of the park.

Lencois is a small village with colorful colonial houses and rocky paved streets. I found a place to spend the night, in a family house where I rented a large and comfortable room for US$15 per night, breakfast included. Early in the morning, the native kids start looking for tourists, offering themselves as guides. I decided to accept the help of one of the boys, which proved to be very opportune since some of the most amazing natural attractions are very hard to reach, (even with a very good map). What came next were five days of unbelievable discoveries: the amount of waterfalls and rock formations is enormous, and each one of the places has a peculiar story, some of them tales from two centuries ago.

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(photo: Renzo Taddei)

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Lencois

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The National Park of Chapada Diamantina is an enormous tableland -   bigger than Belgium and the Netherlands. On account of of its size, the geography, geology, vegetation and wildlife are very heterogeneous. The National Park embraces only the center- western side of Chapada, a place known as Serra do Sincora. This area has a very special natural beauty.

One of the most remarkable attractions is Poco Encantado (the Magic Well): a lake located inside a cave with a hole in the ceiling. During the summer months, a ray of light comes through the hole and makes the water unbelievably blue because of the peculiar chemical composition of the water. It is one of the most beautiful natural spectacles I have ever seen. Most of the people who were with me that afternoon simply didn't want to leave!

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Poco Encantado

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(photo: Renzo Taddei)

Close to the Magic Well is Xique-Xique do Igatu, a village that was abandoned after the diamond exploration was over, a century ago. Some of the ruins are beautiful and magic, and some people believe that is a haunted village.

Another amazing place is called Pratinha (Little Silver), a natural lake with crystalline water and lots of friendly fish. It is a wonderful place to get refreshed - the temperature easily reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The rock formations give a special beauty to the landscape. One of the best moments of the whole trip was a special evening when about one

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Rock formations and canyons

Morro do Pai Inacio /
Father Inacio's mountain

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(photo: Renzo Taddei)

hundred people climbed the most famous rock formation - called Father Inacio's Mount - just to see the sunset. As soon as the sun disappeared behind the horizon, the red sky was illuminated and the crowd exploded, shouting and clapping their hands, touched by the beauty of the natural show. It was amazing!

The Tranquility Waterfall is a cascade located at the end of a 4 hour wild trail up-river. On the way we found 2 snakes! Most of the time they are small and run away from people. The guide said that records show snake attacks only happen when someone steps on the snake. 

Although there are no big animals in the National Park, special care has to be taken with the snakes, scorpions and bees.

On our last day we decided to visit the famous Smoke Waterfall, a 1200 feet high waterfall where most of the time the water doesn't reach the bottom, but disappears in the wind! It is beautiful and frightening (for those who don't like heights) at the same time. You can get to the top by climbing the back of the mountain, in a 4 hour hike, or you can climb from the bottom to the top of the wall, and it takes 3 days!

The local inhabitants struggle to maintain this area as wild and preserved. One perspective is that the tourism industry is that is developing should bring economic development to the region. A new airport and new roads have been constructed to bring the tourists. Nevertheless, I hope the local population can protect the area from the risks that the tourism exploration brings.

Most important of all, tourists must be part of the preservation force, not taking anything other than pictures and not leaving anything other than footsteps.