14 September, 2014

Rockin' Hike

Living abroad without a car makes finding and exploring off-the-beaten-path locales difficult.  Fortunately, that's what friends with vehicles are for!

Just across the boarder into the state of Minas Gerais from São Paulo is a region of small towns scattered amongst the rolling hills and farms.  Situated around the town of Gonçalves, there are a number of great hikes to various mountain tops, rock outcroppings, and waterfalls.  After navigating the winding, dusty roads of this region, one also finds a surprising numbers of pousadas and restaurants essentially in the middle of nowhere to accommodate visitors once in the area.

As it was a short - read "regular" - weekend, we had basically one day to explore.  Hikes of choice: Pedra Chanfrada (Chanfrada Rock) and Cachoeira do Cruzeiro (Cruzeiro Waterfall).  Both were easy with proper attire and afforded great views and refreshing breezes or water, respectively.

Starting the ascent to the top of the Pedra Chanfrada in the background.

Paul and Raquel catch their breath at the top of the Pedra Chanfrada.

Taking it all in!

The water temperature at the Cachoeira do Cruzeiro was so cold it hurt,
but well-worth the dip.

Relaxing after a long day of hiking at our pousada, Serra Vista.

As has been said many times in varying forms, "the greater the challenge/struggle/risk, the greater the reward." Getting to Gonçalves isn't necessarily convenient, however, it is worth every bit of effort.  I hope to be back to climb more rocks and find more waterfalls...