I continue to be amazed at the national parks in Brazil. So far, every one I’ve seen has had well maintained facilities and fabulous hikes.
Today, with a bunch of other Brazilians and some Peruvians, we went to Parque Estadual do Jaraguá to hike to Pico Do Jaragua, the highest point in the city of Sao Paulo.
We had a great day to do it – sunny but not too hot. The most amazing aspect of the hike is the extreme changes in vegetation with altitude. The trail started off dark and dense, the air thick with moisture. As we rose, the our surroundings became more and more sparse with the changing plant life.
The park boats the most bio-diverse forest in the world. While it covers 14% of Sao Paulo, today only 5% of the original forest remains. The trail is rated as difficult, but wouldn’t have been so if we hadn’t had a little one tagging along and randomly complaining. Of course her presence is always appreciated, although I did threaten to get a weekend baba (nanny) at one point.
At the top, you are struck by how immense the city of Sao Paulo is. I mean, it rolls on beyond what we could even see.
The park itself is lovely and has a number of playgrounds and picnic areas. It also has a snack bar at the bottom as well as the top (both facilities really do look like… bars… although I’m guessing no alcohol is served. I can’t imagine how many bodies they would find passed out along the trail.)
After the hike, we went to get some REAL boteco grub (not the fancy stuff). Picanha, farofa, beans, couve and some fried cheese and of course cerveja… nothing more Brazilian than that!
I wonder if we consumed more or less calories than we burned… hmmm…