January 29th - February 4th. I left Salvador a few days later than I expected, and jumped on a 7 hour bus to Lençois. I arrived at midnight with no hostel reservation, but with a little help I found my way to Hostel Dos Duendes (two gnomes?). I immediately met Lynn. It was late and our conversation was brief, but we were fast friends. We’d end up spending the next two weeks travelling together.
I woke up at 8 the next morning - early for me, but not early enough. I missed the chance to book a trip into the park. So I spent the day exploring the town and surroundings. The town of Lençois is quaint and charming. During the day the streets are empty. They come alive in the evening when people return from trips into the national park, Chapada Diamantina. There are no cars on the “main” roads, which are cobbled and covered with candle-lit tables.
I spent a couple more mostly uneventful days in the town and park, and arranging a 4 day trek. I’d met Puma, a tall, slender, soft spoken guy that seemed entirely too laid back to be known as one of the best guides in Lençois. Puma and I made a basic plan and then I recruited four people to join us: Lynn, Zaza, Nicola, and Lucia. Puma recruited another guide, who spoke no English except for the occasional “Heeeeey Bradge Pitch” (Hey Brad Pitt). Before we even left, Puma said our group had “good vibes,” which seemed like a compliment he didn’t take lightly. And he was right. The next four days were perfect. We hiked about 7 miles a day through dense jungle, climbing steep, hidden trails and scrambling up faces of waterfalls. The park seemed a bit like a tropical Yosemite.