With a healed knee, it was time to set out for another foray into the Brazilian forest, or mata as they call it here. I opted for another organised walk with Ultreya Viagens, which doesn’t allow for much animal sightings with a group 18-strong, but does make for a very convivial day out.
We left Sao Paulo at 7am and headed out towards Mogi das Cruzes and from there in direction to Bertioga until we arrived at EcoFutures Parquet das Neblinas, which is perched on the escarpment and was reached after a long windy drive. After a quick coffee and an explanation of the walk, we headed out with guides Andrea and Gabriel, who explained about all the vegetation we saw on the way, including the bromeliad leaf featured above. The vegetation was full of exotic flowers and the inevitable mosquitoes, which despite liberal application of RID made a beeline for me.
The walk meandered along good paths towards the remnants of a river bed through which we gradually descended to a dam, which controlled the flow of water to the area below us. It culminated in a fantastic viewpoint from where we could see Bertioga and the beaches from afar. We had a quick snack there and then turned around to return the same way we came. The walk itself was easy, but posed some challenges for some of the newer recruits to walking, but everyone made it out and back and kept encouraging those who were struggling on the uphill on return.
Before we got back to our lunch at the visitors centre though, we detoured to a nice spot by the river and returned via the suspended catwalk to walk straight into the buffet that was laid out for us, and which was quite a feast. By 8pm I was back home and reflecting happily on a day spent outside of the concrete jungle and into the real one for a day.