Following a colorful and lively travel trend, the 2008 Donnavventura expedition traveled to Brazil, visiting San Paulo, Ipanema, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon and the very heart of the Caribbeans. Four months of intense travelling required ten brave reporters!
At the beginning of the tour, a brief visit was paid to “Christ the Redeemer”, the famous statue atop the peak of mount Corcovado. The streets alla round were literally packed with people, night and day, somehow conveying all their incredible energy to our excited eplorers. Following the Estrada Real – the old gold rush trail – the caravan reached Salvador de Bahia and its vibrant historic centre Pelourinho. Brazilian tunes and irresistible rythms made the brief sightseeing tour even more captivating.
Later on, the team attended a superb performance of Capoeira in Recife – an old type of slave fight, recently made into a spectacular kind of dancing. After an intense surfing experience on the nearby shores, the team headed North, exchanging glittering hotels with humbler and humbler types of accommodation along the country roads. Our reporters had more than a chance to spend the night at typical and cosy Pousadas along the way to the Amazon river.
Wondrous pictures and eye-catching footage celebrated the beautiful hamlets of Canoa Quebrada, Jericoacoara and Caburè in the State Maranhao.
Then, going upriver on the Rio Peguicas, the team reached Barrerinhas and the wondrous area of Lençois Maranhenses: white, sweeping dunes lying just outside the Amazon Basin. This most unique part of the world is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. The rains cause a peculiar phenomenon: fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes and is prevented from percolating down by a layer of impermeable rock which lies underneath the sand. The resulting blue, green and black “lagoons” are surrounded by the desert-like sand, and proved an unforgettable sight for the mesmerised members of the Donnavventura team.
“Benjamin”, a traditional river boat, then took the girls to the very heart of the Brazilian Amazon. Everybody slept on hammocks for more than a month, while placidly sailing along a river some 800 chilometre-long and pinpointed by cosy hamlets on its majestic banks. Toucans, piranha fish, jacarè caimans, Botu pink dolphins and threateningly-huge anacondas silently witnessed the passage of the caravan in their natural habitat.
Many great sensations and unforgettable experiences made everything easier for our brave travel reporters, in spite of endless challenges while getting deeper and deeper in the jungle. Finally Venezuela opened its doors to the caravan travelling to the very mouth of the Orinoco river. There, the team met with the Warao tribe, living on palafittes built on some 40 main streams part of the huge mouth of the main waterway.
For security reasons, the team discarded the original itinerary to Maracaibo and left Caracas heading to the Andes. Driving over peaks at some 16.000 ft., the caravan went down to San Cristobal and entered Colombia.
The Mitsubishi pickups were thus put on a ferry boat to Panama and the whole team went sailing across the beautiful Rosario archipelago, exploring untainted San Blas and some other 366 islets – partially inhabited by the Kuna tribe. A truly unforgettable experience made of white sands, crystal-clear water and the most unique adoration of the female gender worshipped by the local indios.
After visiting Panama, the caravan reached Costa Rica, where everybody had tons of fun with criss-crossing ropeways and suspended platforms in the very heart of the luxuriant jungle.
A final catamaran cruise around majestic Isla Catalina, opposite Playa Potrero, entertained our tired, but unquenchable explorers thirsty for more and more sensations. So, the caravan proceeded to Granada, Nicaragua, discovering its wealth of historical beauty, right before entering Honduras. The team briefly visited Tegucigalpa and flew to La Ceiba and the famous Cayos Cochinos: a most fascinating place inhabited by the descendants of ancient Africans enslaved by the Spaniards. Mostly fishermen, the people living up there happily thrive with very basic commodities, packed inside their humble huts.
On the very island of Roatan, the Donnavventura reporters celebrated the end of another incredibly exciting adventure!