A week ago in Itacaré I was lying in the small pool of our Pousada in the late afternoon, cooling down from another nice day at the beach. With me in the pool was an older couple and we talked a bit about the kindness of Brazilians (usually great) and its nature (stunning). They were from the interior of Bahia and spent a week on the coast at the beaches. They pointed out how nice their hometown is, and that there were a lot of waterfalls in the woods around which are nice to visit.
The next day my wife and me were visiting a nearby waterfall and though it is one of the tourist hotspots around Itacaé, there were only about six other people enjoying a bath in the cold but amazingly clean waters of a pretty waterfall. Funnily there was yet another couple from our Pousada. We talked a bit and it turned out that they are from the capital Brasilia and came to spend some days at the beach as well. But they reassured me, that Brasilia is quite a nice city worth visiting (no doubts about that) and that there are a lot of beautiful waterfalls around the city which make good weekend getaways.
Brazilians seem to be obsessed with waterfalls. As if the 8000 kilometers of coast-line are not enough, Brazilians have to look for more places to have fun with water. This leads to strange encounters, I remember when I was walking through the woods of Ilha de Santa Catarina with a friend, climbing over rocks and through bushes on a tiny trail, that was said to lead to a nice waterfall. As Germans we were well prepared, wearing walking boots or at least sneakers. But when we arrived at the small and rather unspectacular waterfall we met a dozen Brazilians who had hiked up here wearing nothing but Havaianas and shorts – the usual beachwear – already taking a bath in the cold river water.
Brazil has some amazing territories for hiking, though it generally lacks infrastructure due to the lack of interest of Brazilians to go out there and hike. So if you like to hike, you mustn’t be bothered by the lot of people on the first part of the way, especially when many of them seem not to prepared to hike at all. They wont. What will happen is, that they will walk to the next waterfall, take a bath, spend some time and then head back to where they came from. If your trails goes beyond the waterfall, chances are very high, that you will be all by yourself after you left the pool of fresh water (and maybe full of Brazilians) behind you. It’s a beautiful country to explore and full with mysteries as well.