Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back on a track

For all those friends that patiently keep checking our blog, we owe a new post.
Enough time has passed from the long journey to Brazil, that now we can evaluate the "mission" and its results. If we look back one year in time, when the preparations were on the top, we should be glad with the result. Our main goal of the trip was to find a cute, little space which we would like that much that it would turn into our home. From the very beginning of our relationship we knew we wanted to experience a neutral third country to be able to choose where to live. On each step of our long trip we were comparing life there with our habits and with an idea to get settled down there.

Six months after coming back from Brazil, we can say that we have eventually found our paradise. It has always been here for us; but it got brighter when we were far away. While traveling it occurred many times that we were day-dreaming of Rakitna and were wishing to get back there. Now we know, we are sure, where the Home is. Our minds are set and happy. We have got back to routine with many happy thoughts of a big journey. The journey reminded us that we fit together and it gave us a proof to get married. We recently fulfilled our promise!
Brazil still warms our hearts and we will gladly keep returning to Salvador, to our friends!

The mission completed!
Polona and Simon

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sleeping in a cave - Chapada Diamantina

We have been traveling a lot during the last weeks of our stay in Brazil. Meanwhile we had to get ready and packed for the home-coming. By now we’ve reached Slovenia, but we still owe you a couple of updates about the last trips.

Even though Brazil has more than 8000 km of coastline, its landscape is not only beaches as most people believe. The interior of Brazil is full of valleys and high plains. Chapada Diamantina is a national park that covers an area of 152.000 hectares. It is a hilly region in the interior of Bahia, full of waterfalls, rivers, canyons, mountains and freshwater ponds. The natural beauty of the place is set by scenic views of the canyons and rough landscape with its particular flora. The vegetation is adapted to rather dry climate and rocky soil, and the most significant plants are huge bromeliads and orchids. In the past, miners were invading the region from all sides of Brazil and Europe to excavate gold, gems and of course diamonds. That is also where the name of the region comes from. But today people come here to mainly enjoy fresh air, excellent views and take baths in the numerous freshwater ponds and rivers.

One of the natural attractions that causes astonishment is a waterfall called Fuma├ža (smoke) with its nearly 400 meters vertical fall. The region offers splendid opportunities for trekking, climbing and other outdoors activities.

We first planned to make a short visit to the place, but the personal attachment to nature and mountains made us stay a week. It was a great place for us to completely relax, far from the busy and noisy urban life. It was excellent to be in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by hills and forests. We hired a guide and went trekking for a couple of days. It was a special experience to hike in the Atlantic rain forest, sleep in natural caverns and bathe in fresh water ponds. The hike was not the easy one, but training in Slovenia (as well as capoeira) ensured that we didn’t have problems. Also, since we slept in caves we didn’t need to carry around the extra weight of tents and the guide carried the cooking equipment for all of us. Food and sleeping bags were the only extra weight we carried. During the hike we stopped counting the picturesque waterfalls, as there were that many. We spent the new years eve deep in the mountains, sleeping in the nature. Next day it was a nice start of the new year, fresh and pure. In one of the subterranean rivers we even swam and snorkeled in crystal clear water, with visibility around 60 m, among hundreds of small and big fish. It was definitely the best adventure we have had in all our long journey.