Sapiranga and a snake
One of the tours you can book in Praia do Forte is marketed as a fun adventure with kayaking and ziplining.
What they don’t advertise that much is that the whole event is located in a private nature reserve where they try to rebuild the atlantic rainforest. Similar to what it had been before the previous landowners built plantations.
The original forest had been cut down by the Europeans to dye their clothes and to build their ships. Napoleons fleet was built from Brazilian trees for example. Afterwards the landowners came and built plantations with mango or coconut for example. What problem is that there is practically no humus but only sand. So if you go for monoculture as they did you will run into trouble.
The reserve now has a program to rebuild the forest by cultivating small plants that are local to the area. (Even if some of them came over on ships like the coconut.)
Then they go with which plant needs the least soil to grow and add the other plants afterwards.
All of this is done by members of a local community that is located right in the middle. Thereby providing jobs for the community add well. A part of the jungle is closed of for visitors so sloughs living there are not disturbed and can survive.
In addition to that they provide additional schooling for the local children and have students from the university of Salvador over for local lectures.
Sometimes they even nurture illegaly captured animals back to health and try to relocate them to their habitat. That’s how I got to hold a young snake in my hands. I think it was a python. By young I don’t mean 30cm but more like 2 to 3 meters of snake. Even knowing that it was a constricting snake I had lots of respect for the mouth. Irrational I know. But still.
The feeling was strange but I do now know how these reptiles can climb. I felt the scales.
The way through the jungle was filled with information. E.g. about a stream that’s always clean enough to drink because of ironoxide. How Dende palms and nuts look like. And some more about the flora and some of the fauna.
We got to see one of the reforestation experiments in different stages. And it was very interesting how the vegetation changes from one year to the next. Or how other plants rely on the palm trees producing (and keeping) hummus in their trunks.
After about half an hour we came to the ziplines. One crossing the river in one direction and the other one coming back.
The first one was a little bit higher than the other one. And I’m a little bit heavier than the official average male (who is shorter than I am as well). What that resulted in was me getting stuck in the river. At least we all knew about that beforehand and I wasn’t the only one. Bernhard had the same pleasure. A friendly guy waded into the water to throw us a line which helped us to continue our “journey”. 😉
Really interesting for me was how i first skipped over the water a few times with my backside like a stone before I got wet. No bruises though.
Next we went for the kajaks and a little bit of paddling led us to a waterfall with some current. The hard part here was navigation which required a lot of coordination between the two people on board. Speed wasn’t really a problem if you followed the best way.
As not all of us had brought swimwear (at least this time I was prepared) we skipped that part and went back through the jungle to the waiting car. (Yes, Harry was already there. 🙂 ) The way back to town went along the old main road from Salvador that was used before the Linha Verde was built.
Well I thought about leaving the car and walking as a better and faster option. It must have been hell to travel on a road like this in a cart in former times.
On the way we stopped to take on additional passengers and got the unplanned treat of tasting a little red fruit introduced to us as liquorice. We all knew not to eat unwashed food in foreign countries, did it anyway and had no adverse effects to it or because of it. The fruit was more stone than anything else and was a little bit stringy. The taste was good if a little bit strange for us. And no. No pictures.