Lençois Maranhenses part1

Next we travel further up north, to the dunes of Lençois Maranhenses. Of all Brazil’s landscape spectacles, the most unexpected has to be the Lençóis Maranhenses – a 70km-long, 25km-wide expanse of high dunes resembling lençóis (bed sheets) spread across the landscape. From March to September the dunes are partnered by thousands of crystal-clear, freshwater lagoons from rainwater filling the hollows between them. (LP)

Getting on the right flight is a challenge. We queue at one gate and suddenly everyone moves away – our gate has changed. We queue again and now everyone steps to the side and a whole other bunch of people is coming in – they using our gate to board another plane. And all of it in Portuguese only.

We stay for a couple of days in the Pousada Sossego do Cantinho, a small and cute hotel with only four bungalows and excellent food, directly at the riverbank. Going for a swim one afternoon, we wade through the shallow water. Suddenly a big splash and Dorin is gone. It seems the shallow part is a man-made terrace that ends after two meters.

During the day, we visit the dunes and their lagoons, like Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Bonita. The ride to get there in the open-sided 4WD bus itself is already an adventure, up and down the sandy hills, through narrow vegetation and sometimes not so shallow puddles. And this at surprisingly high speed. The dunes and lagoons themselves are amazing. Much taller than we expected and they go on forever. While the Brazilian tourists try to swim in as many lagoons as they can get to, we walk up and down the dunes, looking for the best places to photograph.