Trekking in Vale do Pati may seem lengthy, but all the effort is rewarded with the view and people we find on the way. The hospitality, besides the waterfalls and natural pools connected by trails opened by miners, is part of the rewards.
The valley is one of the main attractions of Chapada Diamantina – hidden between Andaraí and Guiné, the Park was created in 1985, putting an end to the disordered extraction of precious stones that deeply damaged the area.
The only way to know it is by walking – about 70 km in 4 days. I only had to carry my small backpack; the rest of the luggage was taken by donkeys till our overnight stop.
We did much climbing the first day; we passed by Gerais do Vieira with a fantastic view of Vale do Capão. We lunched at Cristais Waterfall and trekked 20 km to Raquel´s house, a local lady who hosted us for the night.
I thought that the local residents’ houses would be like camping, but I found something better. It was a simple house with clay walls and dirt floor and there was no electricity. However, we were so warmly welcomed that the place became better than a five-star hotel. The highlight was to watch Raquel´s TV at night: we sat down facing the valley and looked at the stars for hours.
We spent the second day relaxing at Poção Waterfall, a great place for a swim. At night we enjoyed a fun “forró” (party with Brazilian Northern music) organized by Raquel´s children.
On day three we got up early and headed to Jóia’s house, our next overnight stop – this friendly and gentle man with an abundant supply of food made up for any lack of comfort.
We left early on the last day, a hard 2-hour ascent with a glorious view of the valley in the end. Despite the cloudy weather, the pictures were great.
The adventure finished in the middle of the afternoon in Andaraí with one certainty: the affection of local residents was the real experience of this trip.
Between July and Setember is the best time to go.
Lençóis is the starting point: you can get there by plane with TRIP or by bus with Real Expresso Or Aguia Branca.
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Translated by Lúcia Maciel