Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The problem with not knowing Portuguese
As a break from Rio, before setting off on the tour that we had booked to take us to Buenos Aires, we headed up north to a place called Belo Horizonte to try and see some caves that Becky had seen in someone elses guide book. While we were there a number of people recommended the waterfalls at the Serra de Cipo national park so on the second day, as there was nothing to do in Belo Horizonte itself, we decided to pay it a visit. There were two bus companies that went that way, the first only had buses at 7.30 and 8.30 and the other had them running through most of the day. As we are on holiday we thought treating ourselves to a lie in was in order and took the one at 11am. It turns out there was a reason that the other company only ran early buses. We arrived at the edge of what we thought was the park, ambled up to a waterfall to have some lunch, carried on up the track to the official gate at about 3pm where we managed to find a lady to tell us in broken english what was going on. From where we were it would take 2hrs to get to the waterfall and 2hrs to get back and so that people are not stuck in the park after dark it stops letting people in at 2pm. The bus that we got was a local bus taking people to the villages in the area and just happened to pass by the entrance - the other company was set for people visiting it. In the end they let us in and we made it as far as a stream with some interesting spiders to keep us company before having to turn round, ready for a 2.5hr wait on the roadside for the return bus to appear. Sometimes I really envy people with language skills.