– I love nature. It doesn’t bore me. It surprises. Always
– Here’s nature, right in front of you (with a wide gesture pointing to the Atlantic swell, dotted with popping heads of people in a wave foam and a dark-skinned “gondolier”, without rush rowing on his surf board in direction of Barra da Tijuca…)
Reminded me… “They say there’s nature on the Brighton beach!” (“Madagascar”)
That was yesterday, when right after arrival me and my new acquaintances were killing time on the Ipanema beach.
– What do people do on a beach? I have no idea…
– There’re lot’s of things… like digging neighbor’s feet in sand, for example…
– That I see… what else?
…I don’t know…
That’s why today I head to Jardin Botanico (Botanic Garden). There’s nature there and there’s definitely something to do.
Dry leaves are gliding on me from above, scratching my skin. Here they die not because of luck of sun, but of its abundance. It ruthlessly dries me out too. Because I’m also here, in Brazil.
To the right of me – completely naked giant. Unfortunately, he’s not a man. He’s a tree. Perhaps, it feels hot too, that’s why undressed.
Green birds, looking like parrots, are fighting on flight and crying loudly. Louder than parrots are only school boys, who came here with a tour.
Lemon-yellow butterflies fly across our way. They are not in time to dodge the speeding car and hit the glass, poor kamikadze.
We drive to the center of the national park Chapada Diamantina to see one of its natural wonders. It takes us 1,5 hours. Finally, we are on place on the bottom of a huge slope. We are glad to get out of the stuffy car and start ascend.
Despite the rock that is pretty steep, we go up fast. On way outrun several touristic groups. I enjoy this fact silently – hate to trudge in a crowd.
On every step we catch shots of stunning beauty: picturesque rocks and hills, separated by valleys covered with scare greenery.
In almost an hour we reach the top but it’s just beginning. In front of us – kilometers of walk through the plateau. The only person who we meet is a vender. In the middle of nowhere he offers his “bebidas geladas” – cool drinks to exhausted after ascend tourists. I feel a bit pity about him – sitting there, fanned by winds, burnt by sun, alone, greeting rarely passing hikers.
In an hour I listen to natural sounds thoroughly, in hope to hear the sound of falling water.
Soon the wind brings to us sound of voices. Looks like we are close. Here’s the river that creates the waterfall, narrow stream descending to an abyss.
We are on the edge. Under our feet – grand valley, canion of Valle de Capao. Rocks like monstrous skyscrapers raise on both sides of it. Above the valley trembles a little peace of rainbow.
Flow of Cachoeira daFumaça – Waterfall of Smoke – or disappeares far underneath, or, taken by sudden wind, raises in miriads of microscopic bubbles.
The height of the rock – 353 meters, and before discovery of Cachoeira da Araca in Amazon Smoke waterwall was believed the highest in Brazil. Hikers, who have come to admire the natural wonder, with fear reach the edge to look down.Far-far underneath there’s a tiny lake. Probably, it becomes bigger in rainy season. But now nothing disturbs its calm surface. The stream of the river is so weak that can’t reach the earth, falling into billions of drops.
Curious tourists from time to time try to climb higher on a rock, ignoring the tablet: “Nao transito” – “Don’t pass”. Responsible guides from time to time ask them out of there, explaining politely that someone not so phisically fit and fearless can fall down from the height.
But one prohibited spot I can’t but not visit – the place where the river turns into waterfall. I saw two reckless men, standing on a very edge in a cloud of water dust. To dive into magic stream of Cachoeira that, against laws of nature, flows from earth to the sky, I go too.