From São Luís I reluctantly proceeded towards Barreirinhas, the touristy conglomeration in the periphery of Lenções Maranhenses: the sand dunes consuming impressive coastal real estate.
Common wisdom drills infallible arguments for making the (often costly) arrangements to visit the grandiose dunes, one of the more impressive natural phenomena to impart beauty upon the land. The dunes are not to be missed. Hail the dunes.
I’ll make a familiarly shattering counterargument. Sort out the extremes and prejudices for yourself.
The dunes are as spellbinding as any other: the singular element being the crystal lakes dispersed across the sands like incidental puddles lacking accompanying plant growth, something you would otherwise expect where there be water.
Intriguing the combination, yet over-esteemed and befitting of careful cost-benefit analysis. If never before glanced at a sand dune, worthier a visit. Otherwise, I wouldn’t loose sleep over it. Skip, or if an arm reach away, make the humblest, inexpensivest visit you can manage (visits to the Lenções generally involve guides and groups of people), opting for the vantage points closest to your whereabouts. Don’t go out of your way. Surely a wonder, but only marginally more so next to innumerable others, if even.
Having made a couple of such humble visits where one would’ve sufficed, I crossed from Maranhão into Piauí, submersing directly into the rural element, hardly a stopover at the coastal Parnaiba save for an unusually calm and comfortable nighttime layover on the bus terminal bench.
And thus the swift transition from the coastal tourist manifestation into farmland. Once culminated my trek through Piauí, I’ll make a consolidated write-up contrasting the five-six towns I will have visited and their surroundings, so far only halfway there.
But the overall hitherto impression:
- No hostels or backpacker lodgings, though far cheaper hotels of a similar price range.
- Piauí promotes ubiquitous exercise equipment with pullup bars, per what I used to find much in the South yet almost nowhere in the northern states.
- Noisy commercial centers surrounded by lush and inexhaustible peripheries of forests, ranches, farm animals and elements of like rural deportment.
- Kite-running younglings. Something of a regionalism-realism painting.
- Same urban-rustic dichotomy as you’d anywhere expect. Less intellectual outlets.
- The unparalleled Brazilian beer consumption feels the graver in the country.
- Hot, dry combination of the semi-arid and semi-tropical.
- Concerning the smaller Piauiense towns, no city buses, making inexpensive excursions across non-walkable distances intractable without wheeled transport. No bike rentals. I was once fortunate to borrow a bicycle whose gear-shifting lever only functioned one-way, towards the more difficult.
However little or much hitherto encountered has all the more impressed next to the posher, the packaged, the avoidable. Scarcity, the investment of effort, the less treaded territory heighten appreciation.
Questions, comments? Connect.