Time to get off the coast and back to the mountains and Lencois in 417 km. We drove west and a bit north to Feira de Santana, which will mark the northern limit of our riding in Brazil. Dan was making sure the spot was on the “spot”. We then continued southwest on the 116 and then west on the almost deserted 242.
Lencois is 12 km on a paved road from the 242 and has cobblestone streets. It is a colorful small town that is situated in a small valley adjacent to the Chapada Diamantina national Park.
This park is a must see destination if you are in Brazil. This is a great base for exploring the many natural wonders near here.
Arriving at the hotel late afternoon we could see across the town to the “natural” waterslides on the hillside. There are also lots of small dipping pools here. The rock formations are incredible.
Most businesses in the town are hotels, restaurants, and tour offices.
Feeling ambitious we got up early to tackle the 12 km roundtrip hike to the Cachoeira da Fumaca, which is the second highest waterfall in Brazil. To get there is an 80 km drive. First you go back up to the BA 242 and west to the cut off south to Palmeiras. The pavement ends here and there is a good dirt road the last 26 km to the trailhead.
Drive up the road on the unmarked path. There is a good place to park the bike at the checkpoint. There is no entry fee.
Take lots of water with you as the first hour is straight up and the hot sun is killer. The next 45 min is flat walking to the top of the falls.
The water coming off the cliff starts to vaporize and when the wind blows the water actually “flows” up the falls. This gives a smoky effect, which gives the falls it’s name.
Dan was brave enough to sit on the rock outcrop with the 1200 m drop below.
After an hour or so admiring all the viewpoints we headed back. The water actually flows up at times with the wind.
From Palmeiras we rode back to the BA 242 and then further west to the road to Iraquara in 31 km. This is the “city of the Grutas and Cavernas”. A cave has no exit whereas a grotto has. We decided to visit just one, which is the largest and most popular Gruta Lapa Doce. Luckily our guise Sergio spoke English very well.
These are African killer bees that have a hive in these Stalactites.
The opening of the cavern is massive and there are numerous stalactites and stalagmites..
A number of them take on interesting forms like the thinker, a lion, or chandeliers.
The exit is a much smaller opening about a km away.
A well disserved steak dinner and some beer!