Lençóis Maranhenses In and Out, By 4X4
(Click here for the complete coverage of ‘Maranhão’)
Destination São Luís, capital of the state of Maranhão.
The dune landscape of Lençóis Maranhenses is accessible by a 4×4, over secondary roads and by using a ferry.
The small city of Barreirinhas may indeed be considered as the gateway to Lençóis, but that does not mean you can enter the park by a short walk. A 4×4 is needed, such a powerful monster that is able to drive on loose sand and wade through puddles. Such vehicles are for rent in Barreirinhas. It is strongly recommended to negotiate about the price. The boys and men who offer these 4×4 vehicles, are experienced enough to increase the fare for foreign tourists. It is best not to accept the first offer, and to ask around a bit more. Try to make them clear that they are not the only option of you. Talk a little with them, and show them that you are not very interested in their offer. Less than fifteen minutes later, when you are about to order your second beer, they come back and offer you a lower fare. Keep on insisting to accept a low price only. These men are keen enough to ask more, just before the start of the ride. Do not give in, insist with agreement you already had made with them.
Such a journey is quite an adventure. The 4×4 is comfortable on paved road, but your body will become a bit hurt when the car is riding on loose sand and through deep puddles. Sometimes the driver has to use all horsepower available to move the car on. Sometimes the driver has to make sharp moves to the left or to the right; you are hurled back and forth. And it also happens that you jump a few decimeters from the seat. These seats are not covered with plush, but they are simple benches. It is not difficult to imagine that some passengers will have some bruised spots on their bodies as a vivid memory of this rough and tough ride. Just for free…
By Dr. Adriano Antoine Robbesom
Original text in Dutch, translation with help of Google Translator
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