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...