Destination São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão.
Images of the bus travel from Belo Horizonte to São Luís and Barreirinhas, hour by hour. Part four.
Below, the fourth series of five, showing the bus travel from Belo Horizonte to São Luís, via Barreirinhas. A travel of 2700 kilometers that took two full days. Each major image shows one hour. The smaller images were taken within a period of 10 minutes each.
After having observed the arid and withered landscapes in Bahia, the lush green landscape in Maranhão is a feast for the eyes. We were at a few hundred kilometers from the coastline of Maranhão. Small settlements – isolated or in small groups had taken possession of tiny pieces of the natural environment.
These pictures clearly show the effects of deforestation. The lush green of the native vegetation had been replaced by pale brown of arid and overgrazed meadows. In this way, forest may turn in deserted land in just two human generations time. A real shame.
The image upper left shows terraced houses, that were built as a result of the national project ‘Casa Popular’, more or less the Brazilian equivalent of social housing. This type of houses are also constructed as alternatives for the dilapidated dwellings in favelas (slums). The image center below shows an isolated church. Even at locations with very few people and very distant from larger villages, churches are essential for the local people. The image right below shows a live registration of a local but fierce rain storm.
The image upper center shows a cemetery. This cemetery is surrounded by a wall. Other locations had graves in the forest, without a surrounding wall, but with white gravestones. The image below left shows high voltage pylons close to the houses. But here the people do not complain; most probably they are not (yet) aware of the possible health risks.
After two full days…. we had arrived in São Luís! A massive sigh of relief. Because it is quite a challenge to remain seated in a bus fro two full days. About fifty percent of the companions left the bus. They had to attend a student meeting in São Luís, or they had planned to travel to Belém, capital of the state of Pará, about 800 kilometers from São Luís. Or to visit family or friends in São Luís. We were about to meet the students again, a few days later. And where were we going to? Our final destination was not São Luís, we had to travel a few hours more…
The bus travel is described in the following episodes:
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
Original text in Dutch, translation with help of Google Translator