We left Paraty and motored around beautiful islands and mainland. Eventually we went all the way up into fjord Mamangua.
Our Brazilian Cruising book mentions this remote little place and that not many yachts visit here.
We were hoping for beautiful, clear water and lovely swims around the boat. What we did get, however, were rainy days and brownish water caused by the river flowing into the anchorage area. There were leaves floating on the water. It was beautiful and we loved the absence of man’s mark – no plastic or other refuge finding its way on the current. A remote little village blended into the far bank and there was not another sailing yacht in sight.
The guide book promised a lovely waterfall a little upriver from the sea and we eagerly bunched into Shampoo to go and explore the river. The book warned of snakes in the jungle and Sophia immediately found a nice stick to ward them off. You tap the stick on the ground to scare them away.
The river curled through Mangrove forest where the reflection on the water was so clear that it looked like two forests. One above water level and one below.
There are many bright, coral-red crabs that live just above the waterline, climbing the trunks of the trees.
Huge, white crabs too and we even saw a snake lying on the one bank. Sophia clutched her stick more firmly.
The atmosphere was strangely eerie and we were all trying to keep Karin J‘s anxiety levels from jumping to full scale panic. None of us would have been surprised to see a crocodile emerge next to our dingy.
At last we reached the point where we could go no further on the water. We tied up the dingy and followed a well trodden path.
All of a sudden the jungle changed into what looked like a little subsistence farm. We heard dogs barking and as we came into a clearing, there was a woman with two dogs and ………very strange………..a Howler monkey!!!… just sitting down next to her bags. She didn’t speak any Portuguese and we think she belongs to an indigenous Indian tribe. We passed without incident and soon hit the jungle again.
It is here that Sophia took up her stick banging in earnest. She was determined to warn any snakes (and everything else too) that we were coming. All of a sudden she lost enthusiasm and told me that she doesn’t want to walk in front anymore. Graciously she offered me her stick and said I could bang it if I feel like it. Very strange. As I took up Sophia’s position I had to laugh. I soon realised what caused the strange behaviour. The person in front gets to break the spider webs that cross the footpath. This was too much for Sophia and she was willing to encounter snakes rather than spiders, as she sheepishly confessed when confronted.
The waterfall itself was a marvel. It was the first time in 6 months that we could submerge ourselves completely in fresh water!!! It was deliciously refreshing. My family stood in amazement when I was the first one in.
What a wonderful Creator we serve! Icy cold water in a hot, humid jungle. A natural massage under the waterfall! And all of this, in a beautiful setting that man is unable to duplicate. To me, this is just a small glimpse of the Heavenly Rest that awaits all believers at the end of our lives.