Monday, March 31, 2014

Sao Luis, Lencois Maranhenses National Park

Dunes next to green areas

Lots of lagoons in the dunes

Map of the park

So many lagoons that you can swim in

The water would reflect the clouds or blue sky

Us walking across the dunes to catch the bus

Getting back on the bus on the other side of the dunes

No its not a boat is the jeep bus that goes between the towns and cross the deep lagoons

Crossing the river on a floating barge that is moved by a small motorboat

Sao Luis
I stayed in Tijuana Hostel.  It was 35R a night and was a very quiet place with no more than a few other people. Its in a very residential part of town is kinda like staying at an apartment.  The English speaking staff/owner was very friendly and helpful. I would stay there again though they had quite a few mosquitos.  I started off in Hostal Solar Das Pedras.  The staff their was so nice but they had no wifi and I had to write a paper online so I couldn’t live without wifi.  They had a nice location near the market and center of town. 
I walked down the main road and the historical center during the day. I bought some of street food.  One night I took the bus in with another traveler and we tried some local food from the stalls.  It was 10R a plate and you got to pick a couple of sides, but it was not that great, I think it was maybe too touristic and we should have found some stalls outside of the historical center in a less touristy area where the food was maybe better. 
Lencois Maranhenses National Park
I initially was going to take the bus to Barreirinhas which only cost about $30R but I figured after I paid for the bus to get into town to where the bus leaves and the extra time it would take maybe it wasn’t worth the 8R I would save so I paid 40R to take a private transport hotel to hotel to Barreirinhas and takes about 4 hours. The transport picked me up at 5am and after a stop at their hostel outside of the city center they dropped me off at the jeep transportto Atins which cost 20R and took about 2-3 hours. I stayed in Atins because when I arrived in Barreirinhas I decided the city wasn’t that nice and Atins was much more peaceful and I was glad I did but Atins is really a small town so I was glad I brought some food cause food options were limited I didn’t really see a store, no bank, and certainly no internet.  The first night I stayed at Pousada Irmao but cost 50R per night for a room with a bathroom, the room was quite big and had three beds, but the second night I moved to Tia Rita where I had a smaller room with bath and fan for only 35R and they were also very nice.  From Atins I did a couple of tours.  I also walked to the dunes myself and walked around a bit.  There is also a Restaurant and Pousada to stay out called Canto dos Lencois which maybe I would have stayed a night there cause it was also around 30R in the dorm and it was right by the dunes so I could have walked around at my leisure to take some pictures.  I didn’t find any locals who spoke English so I didn’t understand everything they were trying to tell me.  Somehow I got my own private tour, I think because their wasn’t any space on the other tour group but I didn’t quite understand why or why they wouldn’t just split the group in two.  The dunes were quite spectacular and different for me. I don’t think I have ever seen sand dunes filled with lagoons and water. It was quite hot with obviously no shade and they were quite nice to swim in and each lagoon was a different temperature, with some warmer and some cooler.  Most backpacker tours from Atin or Barreirinhas cost about 50R but one of the hightlights for me was taking the jeep from Barreirinhas to Atins.  Its always interesting to see how people get between towns and here it’s a two hour journey in Jeep where they go through the dunes and they ask people who are willing to get out and cut through the dunes to lighted the load on the jeep.  Going there I was the only girl and didn’t quite understand what was going on so guy told me to stay on so I did but on the way back I walked cause its another opportunity to see the dunes.  Then the jeep goes through these very deep lagoons and rivers that are created from the rain.  On the way back we went over a fallen tree and the brakes broke but after evaluating that there were no brakes we just kept going.  We also have to take ferry across a river, which is just a floating kinda dock that they load the people and cars onto and a small motorized boat that they use to push the dock across the river. 

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