Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breaths away.
After more than a year of living and traveling in the Amazonian Rainforest in the Guianas and Brazil, the contrast with the landscape we encountered in Lençois Maranhenses (Northeast Brazil) couldn’t have been bigger: 1500 square kilometers of dunes.
The dunes are protected by being a national park. According to Marinaldo, our guide, 80% of the park consists of dunes. Due to the constant northern wind across the Atlantic Ocean the dunes are moving inland.Marinaldo pointed to the right, “Do you see that dune? There’s a telephone pole underneath it; last year the pole was still visible. Do you see that telephone pole next to the dune? That one will disappear under a new dune in a year or two.”
Marinaldo pointed to the right, “Do you see that dune? There’s a telephone pole underneath it; last year the pole was still visible. Do you see that telephone pole next to the dune? That one will disappear under a new dune in a year or two.”
Those dunes grow fast, I tell you.
For now it’s still a national park, a place that fills any visitor with a feeling of awe. However, I do hope that the dunes will stop advancing at some point in time and won’t turn Brazil’s Northeast into China’s Taklamakan Desert, which has continued to push forward to the point where it has become a plague.
After a splendid day of driving and walking in this incredible landscape we returned to our camp just outside St Amaro, the western gateway to the park. The wind had filled every single orifice of our bodies with sand particles so it was time for a swim.
We went skinny-dipping in the crystalline river underneath a pitch-black sky studded with stars. Silence, darkness, the two of us and the Land Cruiser with its lights glistening in the smooth surface of the river.
Sometimes our life is not just great; it’s fantastic.