Getting Directions in Brazil

There are two things I learned in my time here about getting travel directions: no route is ever straightforward and it never takes the time promised. The expectation is always that you will plan with buffers and that you will ask people along the way.

This is how yesterday, while trying to get to the Tabuleiro waterfall, we accidentally arrived at the Anglo American mining site, somewhere out there (I knew the dirt road and various trucks looked familiar from somewhere…). Deciding against asking at the employee dorms (located just by the local whorehouse), we drove around until we found some kiosk along the road and got instructions (“drive back until you hit a bridge, then turn right”).
We followed those instructions until we reached a town, where a lady pointed us to the next landmark. Next stop was a farm house along the road 20km of dirt roads later, we finally reached the Tabuleiro village where an old lady advised us that we are still “REALLY” far. We knew not to take her too seriously and 5 mins of additional driving brought us to our final destination (3 hours after we started).

The view was completely worth the adventure. I also got to practice the crab crawling position as I was too much of a chicken to hop from one rock to another until we reached the waterfall. Beats any Zumba class!

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