“Brought into right relationships with the wilderness,
man would see that his appropriation of Earth’s resources
beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance
and begat ultimate loss and poverty by all.”
The first time I set foot on the Chapada Diamantina (Diamond Highlands), I was overwhelmed by the magnificence of the scenario. Everything in sight was so genuinely different and spectacular that I felt transported to another world. Back in 2003, year of my first visit, the airport of Lençois, the largest city of the Chapada, was in operation. The one flight per week (50 minutes from Salvador) was a relief for tourists flying from Rio and São Paulo. Today the traffic became sporadic, meaning one should confirm with a travel agent before planning a trip.
The Chapada Diamantina is an ecological paradise with numerous waterfalls, natural swimming pools, beautiful trails for trekking, caverns, blue lakes, a fantastic flora and fauna…Irresistible. It is located in the state of Bahia, Northeast of Brazil, not far from mainland Europe, on the other side of the Atlantic. In Portuguese, the word chapada means a region of steep cliffs and Diamantina refers to the diamonds found there in the mid 1800´s when Lençóis was an important center of diamond mining.
Over the years I have visited the Chapada Diamantina several times and my plans are to return in the future to explore dozens of exciting places I have never seen. By the way, this seems to be a habit amongst many visitors.
You will notice that Chapter 11 – dedicated to the historical events that led to the discovery of diamonds on the Chapada Diamantina – is missing. It was not meant to be this way. I explain: I thought I had ample material to prepare the chapter. I was wrong! Last August luck knocked at my door and granted me the opportunity of gaining outstanding data regarding the early history of the Chapada Diamantina. The volume of material is so vast that I wouldn´t have time to finalize the presentation by the end of November, my deadline for concluding the new chapter to be released on January 1st 2017. This is why Chapter 11 is due for next year, while Chapter 12 – now released – contains more than 300 photos of some of the major attractions of Lençóis and surroundings.
My usual thanks to Domingos Cardoso, Marlon Machado, Leonardo Versieux, and João Sergio Barros (Ornithology) for their kind assistance in the identification of species.
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Happy New Year to all! May you find peace and enchantment in life.
Oscar – Bromeliário Imperialis
Rio, Dec. 2016
– Chapada Diamantina National Park Wikipedia – English
– Chapada Diamantina Wikipedia – Português