Life is Fantastic – Exploring the Dunes of Lençois Maranhenses National Park (Brazil)

Slow travel Brazil, exploring the dunes of Lençois Maranhenses

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breaths away.”

After more than a year of living and traveling in the Amazonian Rainforest in the Guianas and Brazil, the contrast with the landscape we encountered in Lençois Maranhenses (Northeast Brazil) couldn’t have been bigger:

1500 square kilometers of dunes.

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Watching Wild and Captive Condors in Ecuador, at Hacienda Zuleta

It was almost like a dance, seven rambunctious Andean Condors hopping around chunks of mule and calf. On other days the carrion might be alpaca, sheep, or rabbit. Males generally have the first go but Awu is a female that is able to stand up for herself and makes sure she gets the piece she wants to have.

When two condors wanted the same piece they each tore on a side of it as if it were a game of tug-of-war.

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Watching the Urkupiña Festival in Bolivia

According to the most popular story, a young shepherd girl daily herded her sheep on a stony hill, where the Virgin Mary appeared to her several times. At one time she indicated the Virgin to her parents, shouting, “Orkopiña” – “There, on that hill”, as the Virgin was ascending towards heaven. On the summit they found a stone image of the Virgin, which since then has been kept in the church in Quillacollo.

Visiting these sites is part of the 3-day Urkupiña Festival.

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