All I can say is this was an amazing place. I am sure the indigenous peoples thought it was spiritual; like god’s building blocks tossed around. There is a constant wind that makes it seem like voices. In the rainy season, the area is green and water pools on the rocks, making reflecting pools. We also saw some cave paintings where ancient settlers recorded what they saw.
Stirring. Of course, there was also sign of man’s presence. Some genius decided it would be a good idea to draw a heart on the same cave wall, just a few inches away from the original paintings. There was also a small chapel built there, in memoriam of a man who died in a knife fight on the ground. But, still, the remoteness of the area, and the dirt roads have kept it relatively untouched. Even more surprising, though, was the unfettered access. In any other country in the world this would be a national park or a protected place. I hope they do find a way to protect it before man continues to intrude.
On the other hand, the road to Serra Verde was one of the funniest and strangest road trips I have ever taken. We took an afternoon off to visit the site and Patrick Muller was acting as our guide for the day. He had been to the site once before, but it had been a while, so as we were driving his wife Ana was on the phone conferring with friends who had been there.
Along the way, Patrick decided to take a “shortcut”. He wanted to swing through a small village to grab lunch. When got there, the “restaurant” looked pretty sketchy so he decided to move on. Instead of going back to the main road, he chose to follow the short cut to keep moving in the right direction. It ended up adding two hours to the trip. While it could have been frustrating, the absurdity of the situation and the places we drove through, coupled with the reactions of the people as we asked for directions, made it a priceless adventure. I kept thinking of Buzz Lightyear’s declaration that “flying is falling down…with style”. On this trip, a road trip was getting lost with humor. We all laughed and joked for the entire trip.
In one small community, where we finally had to turn back instead of trying to limp our way forward, called interestingly Palestine II, four different men came out of the house—all with pot bellies and none wearing shirts—to offer us directions. Well, that isn’t entirely true. The fourth came out and asked us if we wanted to come inside and have a drink with them. We opted against it.
Strangest sighting on this road trip, but you are just going to have to take my word for this, is a mummified cow. The air was hot and dry in the desert area on the way to Serra Verde. Obviously a cow died out in the desert. Its body seemed to be perfectly preserved though. Some joker set it up beside the road, upside down. It was resting on its horn tips and it’s rump with all four legs straight up in the air. Surreal.
On the way back to Natal, three different times we crossed a river with official road signs stating “Rio sem Nome”. Does naming a river ‘river without a name” mean that is the actual name? Should you give it one? Filed under the category of “things that make you go huh?”
See more pictures from Serra Verde here..