The “Mesa Atlantica” of Tijuca.
The Tijuca Forest is the biggest “urban forest” of the world: 32.000 square kilometers (larger than Belgium!) it is what they call Atlantic Forest (Mesa Atlantica in local language): a densely planted forest showing a gorgeous vegetation (even if Tijuca has been replanted a few decades ago with a lot of introduced species, such as Bamboo from China). The main difference with the Rain Forest (the Amazon Forest, for instance) is the fact there is NOT a clearly defined rain season but an overall (high) humidity all year long (due to the fact the forest is close to the sea, in this case the Atlantic Ocean). Tijuca is located in the heart of the city, a part of it forms the “Parque National de Tijuca” (Tijuca National Park) hosting a lot of plants (such as Jacarandas, many kind of palms, ferns and many many more) and among animals dozens of bird species (we spotted a big Toucan, which flew away in a hurry ... this means no pictures to show) snakes, small carnivores and rodents. We were lucky enough to meet a group of Quati/Coati. (an animal resembling a raccoon).
Main points to visit are:
· Pico do Papagajo (Parrot Peak): requiring a well trained guide (we had him!) and climbing equipment (we had not, so we avoided it!)
· Acude da Solidao: (Solitude Dam)
· Taunay waterfalls: a beautiful place with some “waterfalls” created by Cachoeira River. I enjoyed it a lot!
Let's go, then.
Our vehicle (later on a canvas cover was added on it...)
Ready! Despite the rainy day the crew is fit and strong ...
These are tour JEEP, and this is (photo above) their “logo”; they did a remarkable job ...
The foggy scenery we moved through ...
Introducing the “Cascatinha Taunay” (Taunay Waterfall) with this aged label (photo above); here we go ...
Cascatinha Taunay/Taunay Waterfalls.
Same place; another shot ...
Another small stream flowing in the “darkness” of the forest ...
The visit is regrettably over! Stefania is climbing into the car while Leonardo is already in it. At the center you can see the two Brazilian members of the crew (Anibal, the guide and Durval the driver; I do hope to remember their names correctly). At the left you can see the two Brazilian fellows that shared the tour with us (the lady had some problems with her “beach shoes”, but stood it bravely ...)