Pinnacles National Park

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Day 12—Banff National Park

Castle Mountain

Silverton Falls

The Cave… where Banff National Park and the Canadian National Park system began…

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Road Trip Day 6!!—Los Angeles

Checking out the Chumash Painted Caves (over 400 yrs old!) on our way south from Lake Cachuma…

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Tour with David G at SpaceX!

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An evening at the beautiful Griffith Observatory…
So incredible that this place is free and part of a public park!

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February 2012 – Red Door Café & Sutra Baths

Linh and I at Red Door Café… definitely a brunch experience, waiting in line holding old Victorian dolls…

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…intense brunch…

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…Hannah and I went to the Sutro Baths ruins to run around…

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What the complex looked like before it burned down in 1966.

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Lençóis—Day 2

Went on a full-day trek into the Chapada Diamantina National Park to see a waterfall, some caves, and fabulous views from the Morro do Pai Inácio ‘hill’.

Our tour group was led by Itamã (right).  There were two young married couples, plus Verena (left) and me.

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Our first stop was the Devil’s Pool (Poço do Diabo), which has its name—supposedly—because slaves who stole diamonds (diamonds were a big thing here back in the day) were killed and thrown into this pool.

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Next, we went down the Fumaçinha Cave to see its rooms and rooms of stalactites and stalagmites. 

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I was most surprised and impressed by seeing not only the normal conical stalactites, but also some ribbon-y stalactites overhead.  I’ve seen a humble number of caves, and had yet to see such formations.

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We had a great lunch outside the Fumaçinha cave.  Typical food of the region – rice, beans, corn, cactus, beets, banana, meats, salads, juices!

We went to two other caves – Gruta Azul and Gruta Pratinha.  Both had beautiful transparent waters, and the second had a pond we could swim in.  There was also a zip line to slide down from a cliff above into this large pond!  I couldn’t help but participate, so I got strapped in, jumped, and got to scream a little in the free fall before hitting the water.  It was a lot of fun, and there is a picture somewhere on Verena’s camera.  I’ll post when I retrieve them.

At this point, my camera battery had died, so no real documentation.  We drove out to Morro do Pai Inácio, which is the highest ‘hill’ in the area.  All of the ‘hills’ in the region actually used to be one giant plateau (chapada), and were eventually broken apart by tectonic movement and erosion.

View from afar…

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… and then we climbed it! (an easy 25 minutes), to get a beautiful 360 degree view of the area.

Went out into town—on the main street Rua das Pedras—for dinner and drinks. 

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We ran into our Brazilian friends from the vegetarian restaurant, who ended up sitting down at the table next to us!

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After they were done, we ran into Mogli, who kind of just roams the streets looking for people to hang out with.  We then ran into some friends—Jo and some Germans–from the pousada, who were looking to grab a few Caipirinhas.

The Germans left to catch their night bus back to Salvador, while Jo Verena and I found a live band on the streets playing some lovely music. 

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Just as a singer joined them (people kind of just join…!), it started to rain, so we moved on as they packed up their instruments.  Ran into Mogli, who showed us the tiny discoteca (club).  We went in for kicks, to dance a bit and watch the local teenagers ‘get down’… or whatever the phrase is in Portuguese.  After fending off some ‘younger men,’ we made our way home.  Thus ending Day 2!

-S