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Now comes the most awaited moment in Adventure Bloggers – the trail inside the canyon of Itaimbezinho, in Aparados da Serra National Park. The adventure had been on my wishing list for ages, and in December I finally entered the huge crack and saw the slopes upwards.
We started in closed forest walking on grit, until we reached the riverbed. A clearing opens up and we see the beginning of the canyon from Mamica Hill. The river has a strong smell (unusual, not unpleasant) and changes course after each torrent, but the old dry path covered with stones was still visible; and from there we moved on towards the wrinkled slopes of Itaimbezinho.
We spent most of the time with our legs underwater during this trail, either trekking along the river or crossing it. The flow was strong in some parts, even with the small amount of water, so we crossed it holding hands to keep the balance. Each step was different and the guides indicated the best way. As it happened inside Malacara, here too the stones get bigger, but a lot bigger and surrounded by more water. They fall from the huge slopes and roll down the river, getting smaller until they become the grit from the beginning of the trail.
Como aconteceu no interior do Malacara, aqui as pedras também vão aumentando de tamanho, com a diferença de serem maiores e terem mais volume de água ao redor. Elas caem dos paredões gigantes e vão rolando pelo rio perdendo tamanho até virarem o farelo do início da trilha.
December is breeding season for spiders; they were everywhere and had several sizes. I did not see bird-eating spiders, but some of my fellows did. In areas with heavy flow, the near stones are a great support, but you should check if the eight-legged insects are not there.
But it is not all about challenge; we are surrounded by much beauty and innocence. Nature constantly exhibits itself in waterfalls, stones, plants, colorful insects and narrow paths. One of the highlights is the natural toboggan slide right in the beginning. The guide had to tell us to stop, or else we would not reach our goal.
The end of the trail is when we see the big crack and the slopes full of araucaria forests on the summit. You may go on for another forty-five minutes until the gateway (huge rocks that close the path) – that depends on the time, climate and physical preparation of each person. From this moment on it is considered a high-difficulty trail.
It was twelve kilometres in eight hours, stopping for a swim, snack and pictures. RIO DO BOI TRAIL is not very difficult, but it demands attention and the experience of a local guide, not forgetting the ability of walking on stones. There are several stories of people who decided to venture on their own and could not get out easily; they needed to be rescued or helped by local residents. There is the climate factor: if it rains in Cambará do Sul, for instance, people who starts the trail in sunny weather will only realize it when they feel the water level rising and, if there is heavy rain, the torrent comes and washes everything away. The accredited guides check the weather forecast before entering the canyon and have radio sets to be notified or ask for help if needed. When the water level rises, they know the alternative routes through the woods.
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
Photos by Leandro Gabrieli and Roberta Martins.