The forest to the rescue!

Posted: March 12, 2012 by Ben Weber in English, Hiking, Nature photography/film, Training
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Well, yesterday was quite eventful here in Brazil. We were planning to go with the guys from the Casa de Pedra gym to go rock climbing at Salesopolis so we got up early at 6am to meet them at the gym before setting off (it’s about three hours or so outside of São Paulo).

Got there 15 minutes late and there was nobody around so we called our colleagues to see what had happened (it’s not as if these guys are the most punctual in the world)… Apparently Fabio had tried calling me and had got through to another Benjamin (like there are so many people with this name in Brazil who also go to the gym…) who said that he wouldn’t come and had left half an hour ago with the cars all divided, so there was not really a chance of getting a taxi to catch up with them. Needless to say I was pretty annoyed as this training is important to us and both Natalia and I had been looking forward to this.  This will teach us not to be late at least, but (again, needless to say) we might have a couple of words to say to Fabio on Monday as well when we have our training session… but I will stop there as I will get irritated thinking about it! There will be plenty more climbing trips coming soon.

So we had to do something else because every day is pretty valuable to us for our training. We tried going to the main São Paulo bus station at Tiete to go to a place for a day where we could go for a hike in the country, but unfortunately all the busses left too late and all the journeys were too long, so… we decided to go back to the Mata Atlantica park to go on a hike there. I might have complained a little about it being a bit easy but it is good for going up and down hills, and seeing everything we did last time certainly made up for that.

And it didn’t disappoint. We first went into a park just below the main entrance to our hike; had a relaxing walk around there for an hour or so (quite heavy rucksacks as well because of all of our climbing and photography equipment (this time I had the memory cards as well!)), seeing the kids playing football whilst at the same time seeing turtles swimming around, herons, capivaras (not sure what this in English, but a photo is to the right in case anyone does know!).

Then, when we got to the trail, almost the first thing we saw was a family of four or five bugio monkeys, including a baby, making their way through the trees above us. Always nice to see them, and always nice to get a couple of pictures, and it was pretty good seeing a few families of these monkeys as we walked on up! Up the trail, we also saw a family of around seven or eight Coatis – Brazilian aardvarks – members of the raccoon family (I thought that at the time as we had seen raccoons at the Iguaçu falls and they looked quite similar, though good ol’ wikipedia confirms!). They were just lurking by the side of the path, occasionally getting quite close to us and hanging around in the trees. Aside from this, a few more butterflies, lots of ants, and other creatures such as a strange hanging caterpillar (I think – again, a photo is below – no idea what it is really) as well as fruit such as pineapples and guarana. No more bug battles this time, however.

The trek lasted for about six hours or so and we ended up at a lake at the midway point, which was also nice to relax by. So overall in spite of the pretty abysmal start to the day, it all worked out quite nicely in the end.

Hope you like the photos! Abraços.

  1. Lesley says:

    Looks like the wildlife made up for it hugely! 6 Hours is a good hike too so don’t be too annoyed. Sounds to me like your climbing buddies were still in bed though 😉

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