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Yesterday’s rain had stopped, but it would take a little more than a dry night to get the Internet up and running again from Morro do Chapéu. So it is from a snowy white Amesbury that I’m posting these last pages of the Brazil Diaries retrospectively.

The mood was quiet as we headed for our last hundreds of km. homeward. Some 20 km out of Moro do Chapeu we passed the Cachoeira do Ferro Doido, the waterfall that had been dry as usual during our last visit (S1620). This time there was plenty of water rushing along the rocky river bed and underneath the bridge that we drove over. There is water falling at the falls! We agreed an impromptu stop (S1687) to take a look at the falls themselves. Photography was aimed more at snapping shots of cacti reflected in water and water throwing itself 100 m down the rock face than at increasing the number of cactus pictures in our portfolios. Last time we had observed an interesting overhang that at the time we did not feel like trying out but today I felt lucky, so made a little detour and approached the falls again from the other side, having left one of my cameras with Marlon. From where I was standing, I was completely unaware of the 100 m void below the rock surface below me. Ignorance is bliss and fearlessly I walked toward the edge to snap some shots of the falls while the others were snapping shots of me. The resulting pictures in today’s photo album were actually taken by John and Cliff. Marlon struggled with my camera, as I have the dioptre on the view finder adjusted to my eyes and glasses, so that everything appeared out of focus. 

So, on to S1688, the last image stop of this trip. We saw Melocactus salvadoriensis, Pilosocereus catingicola, Arrojadoa penicillata. The long thin narrow leaved Bromeliad that we had seen all over the place (Neoglaziovia variegata) was in flower and fruit here.

We arrived safely at Marlon’s for the last routine of the trip, getting the car tidied and washed before returning it to the car rental firm tomorrow. This turned out to be a most unusual and pleasant experience. Marlon had seen a cardboard notice at a private house up the road on his way to the University Herbarium where he works. It was Sunday afternoon, so we were unsure if they were open for business. They were. Marlon explained that we wanted a good clean up before returning the rental car. No problem. Did we want to take a seat? There were some tables and chairs in the shade in the corridor between the house and its neighbour, with a cooling breeze. Did we want a drink? Sure! Beer? Excellent! John preferred a Cola, somebody had to remain sober! No problem. Seven bottles of beer later, the job was done. R$ 40, (about £14 or US$ 23) covered the cost of the work, the beer and the tip!

We finished the day with our farewell to Brazil meal, where else but at the best churrascaria in town.

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