Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

The Swampy Freedom of Quilombo do Remanso

Advertising frame
António do Remanso walks in front of Fazenda Velha.
water lily tide
Visitors cross the Marimbus wetland.
from boat to boat
Nativo do Remanso at the village dock above the Marimbus wetland.
Antonio do Remanso
António, one of the many descendants of slaves who, in the XNUMXth century, fled from the region's snzalas.
river reflex
The group travels along the bank of one of the rivers that delimit the Marimbus.
water lilies
Water lily leaves, one of the predominant plants in the Marimbus wetland.
smile of relief
A beekeeper in Remanso, freed from the mask that makes him sweat under the tropical sun of the region.
natural shower
Visitors to Chapada Diamantina cool off in a puddle on the Roncador river.
old farm
The main house of Fazenda Velha, located at one of the ends of the historic territory of the quilombos that gave rise to the Remanso.
Sweet offer
Remanso beekeeper strictly protected from bees offers honeycombs to Marimbus visitors.
coffee colored river
Teenager from Remanso bathes in a dark lagoon of the Roncador river.
again among water lilies
Remador Tiago takes visitors through the canals of the Marimbus wetland.
Guides from Remanso António and Tiago are getting ready to drag the canoe along a too shallow stretch of the Roncador river.
Runaway slaves have survived for centuries around a wetland in Chapada Diamantina. Today, the quilombo of Remanso is a symbol of their union and resistance, but also of the exclusion to which they were voted.

Despite the end of mining prospecting and slavery, some of the people of Lençóis da Bahia remained apart from evolution, lost in time, faithful to history. It was not just the case of the quilombos.

This was the case of the miners, a class that is currently isolated from local society that maintains solitary representatives living and working in precarious conditions in the beds of rivers and streams, but also villages that group together descendants of the former prospectors.

Barqueiro, Remanso, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

Nativo do Remanso at the village dock above the Marimbus wetland.

This is the case of Estiva, a village lost in the middle of the immense scavenging of the interior of Bahia. And that was also what happened with Remanso, a community that succeeded the different quilombos that had previously spread in this remote and isolated area on the outskirts of Lençóis da Bahia.

The Austere and Secular Origins of the Quilombola Community of Remanso

Whether or not it's true, it is said that the first of these quilombos was originated by a slave who led a reckless escape from a slave quarter through the Marimbus swamp, it is estimated that, at the time, it was much more full of alligators, piranhas and anaconda than now – which had long frustrated any attempt at evasion.

António do Remanso, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

António do Remanso walks in front of Fazenda Velha.

This and other slaves will have been left to their fate. They forced Indian women still existing in the area to live and breed with them. Other quilombos often emerged after the fugitives resisted recapture attempts, in a post-colonial era in which their disobedience scandalized the free and wealthy population much more than the drag of slavery.

When we arrived at Remanso, one of these cafuzos, known as António do Remanso, started to guide us in that exotic Bahian setting in which he grew up. "Certainly!"

It is with the popular Brazilian expression and a strong country accent that answers almost every question and confirms most of our observations.

António exhibits a gentleness of manner that is uncommon in the male gender that immediately seemed to be associated with his rare androgenic traits in those parts.

It was this host who showed us the canoe chosen from among dozens anchored at the entrance to the Marimbus and who, supported by Tiago, a much more masculine and muscular colleague, began the navigation.

Discovering the Pantanal do Marimbus, Chapada Diamantina

The Marimbus occupies a vast (1250km²) flooded area between Lençóis da Bahia and Andaraí. It is fed by three rivers. It hides some interconnected lakes in which, sheltered by papyrus (locally called marimbus or peri), the remaining flora and a mixed fauna of the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon proliferate.

The wooden vessel sets sail with its capacity exhausted. The exaggerated weight requires extra effort from rowers.

Overcrowded boat, Remanso, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

Visitors cross the Marimbus wetland.

Even so, we advanced little by little there, breaking through a dense green mantle formed by different aquatic plants, embellished by hundreds of water lilies, at least until the tropical sun (the Tropic of Capricorn crosses the Chapada Diamantina) make its colorful flowers collect.

Our first objective was a farm called Fazenda Velha. The journey time to reach it has multiplied far beyond what was expected, this, with the agreement of the guides who never excused themselves to stop or deviate from the route to show us the most exuberant or just interesting animal and plant specimens.

An hour and a half, many meanders without visibility later, we came across an arm of a river. There, the shallowness forces us to beach the canoe on the shore and continue on foot what little was left, along the sandy and reddish bed of the Roncador.

Roncador River, Remanso, Marimbus Quilombola Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

The group travels along the bank of one of the rivers that delimit the Marimbus.

Returning to land, we embarked on a trail through dense forest. Gifted with the shadow of a cashew tree and the sugary juice of the fruits we all share, António takes the opportunity to talk about the past of Remanso and the Afro-Brazilian beliefs and rituals that subsisted in the community.

By combining his words with those of several other figures in the village, we learn about how everything happened.

From Manézinho to António Guide of the current Remanso

The village itself was founded by Manoel da Silva – Manézinho do Remanso (now 73), by his brother Inocêncio and by three cousins ​​plus their respective families, in 1942. previous. “My great-grandfather was an Indian and was 'caught' in the woods like a dog's teeth”, Manézinho himself got used to telling those arriving from outside. “In the slave quarters, he married my great-grandmother, who still came from Africa” (calculations made, supposedly in the early XNUMXth century).

António do Remanso Portrait, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

António, one of the many descendants of slaves who, in the XNUMXth century, fled from the region's snzalas.

"Here, we are all cousins ​​and children of cousins ​​who married cousins." “My grandfather was a fisherman and, from father to son, everyone was a fisherman”, explains the elder. “In the beginning, life was difficult. We fished peacock bass and crumatás, kept the fish in a fish pond and, on market day, held everything by the mouth in a cambão (wooden pole), we would still go out at night, on foot, to sell there in Lençóis”.

Decades passed. Remanso adorned itself with the first modern features, including a color TV connected to a satellite antenna that attracted the entire community around episodes of the most popular soap operas.

The village remained for a long time without the benefit of a social network and infrastructure built almost only in Lençóis, devoid of schools, health centers or anything else.

The inhabitants also complain that, despite being in a land blessed with regard to its beauty and fertility, the Remanso, the Marimbus and the Rio Roncador do not provide jobs and force many of their children to migrate to Lençóis and other places. farther away from Brazil.

Bathing in the Roncador do Remanso River, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

Visitors to Chapada Diamantina cool off in a puddle on the Roncador river.

The Pantanal do Marimbus and the Roncador River Tourism Trumps

In recent times, the village has finally begun to benefit from the growing tourist vigor of the Chapada Diamantina.

The community now charges tickets to outsiders who visit it and to Marimbus. Guides are paid by small agencies located in Lençóis.

This relief, with the additional benefits of farming, fishing and honey-raising – but also other arts and crafts – allowed several natives to return and, if not prosper, at least support their families.

Navigation Marimbus do Remanso, Marimbus Quilombola Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

Remador Tiago takes visitors through the canals of the Marimbus wetland.

Remanso's indigenous self-esteem largely stems from an awareness of the marginal origins of the community.

When families come together to celebrate whatever it is, these origins blessed by orixás, patuás and babalorixás are very evident to the sound of the drums, the berimbau, the reco-reco that give the rhythm to the capoeira of the youngest and to the songs of tribal and african inspiration.

We return to Fazenda Velha. We admire its secluded “Sitio do Pica-Pau Amarelo” charm before an invigorating Bahian lunch.

Fazenda Velha, Remanso, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

The main house of Fazenda Velha, located at one of the ends of the historic territory of the quilombos that gave rise to the Remanso.

The way back went against the current. It also tasted a lot sweeter.

In the middle of the swamp, we come across two beekeepers known to António and Tiago, in full gathering.

After a smooth berth and some good-natured conversation, the natives, dressed in white protective suits and masks that kept them distilling, bound them with honeycombs still soaked with honey.

Honey offer at Marimbus, Remanso, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina

Remanso beekeeper strictly protected from bees offers honeycombs to Marimbus visitors.

A little later, the night was already taking over the Marimbus, we anchored back in the Remanso and returned to the post-colonial civilization of Lençóis da Bahia.

Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Bar a Kunta Kinteh, Gâmbia

Journey to the Origins of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

One of the main commercial arteries of West Africa, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, the Gambia River was already navigated by Portuguese explorers. Until the XNUMXth century, much of the slavery perpetrated by the colonial powers of the Old World flowed along its waters and banks.
Passo do Lontra, Miranda, Brazil

The Flooded Brazil of Passo do Lontra

We are on the western edge of Mato Grosso do Sul but bush, on these sides, is something else. In an extension of almost 200.000 km2, the Brazil it appears partially submerged, by rivers, streams, lakes and other waters dispersed in vast alluvial plains. Not even the panting heat of the dry season drains the life and biodiversity of Pantanal places and farms like the one that welcomed us on the banks of the Miranda River.
manaus, Brazil

The Jumps and Starts of the former World Rubber Capital

From 1879 to 1912, only the Amazon River basin generated the latex that, from one moment to another, the world needed and, out of nowhere, Manaus became one of the most advanced cities on the face of the Earth. But an English explorer took the tree to Southeast Asia and ruined pioneer production. Manaus once again proved its elasticity. It is the largest city in the Amazon and the seventh in Brazil.

Island of Goreia, Senegal

A Slave Island of Slavery

Were several millions or just thousands of slaves passing through Goreia on their way to the Americas? Whatever the truth, this small Senegalese island will never be freed from the yoke of its symbolism.”


Homes Sweet Homes

Few species are more social and gregarious than humans. Man tends to emulate other homes sweet homes in the world. Some of these houses are impressive.
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

A vessel that transported buffaloes from the India it will have sunk at the mouth of the Amazon River. Today, the island of Marajó that hosted them has one of the largest herds in the world and Brazil is no longer without these bovine animals.
Chapada Diamantina, Brazil

Gem-stone Bahia

Until the end of the century. In the XNUMXth century, Chapada Diamantina was a land of immeasurable prospecting and ambitions. Now that diamonds are rare, outsiders are eager to discover its plateaus and underground galleries
Fort-de-France, Martinique

Freedom, Bipolarity and Tropicality

The capital of Martinique confirms a fascinating Caribbean extension of French territory. There, the relations between the colonists and the natives descended from slaves still give rise to small revolutions.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Architecture & Design
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

Osaka's Urban-Jovial Japan

Japan's third most populous city and one of the oldest, Osaka doesn't waste too much time on formalities and ceremonies. The capital of the Kansai region is famous for its outgoing people always ready to celebrate life.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Casa Menezes Braganca, Chandor, Goa, India
Chandor, Goa, India

A True Goan-Portuguese House

A mansion with Portuguese architectural influence, Casa Menezes Bragança, stands out from the houses of Chandor, in Goa. It forms a legacy of one of the most powerful families in the former province. Both from its rise in a strategic alliance with the Portuguese administration and from the later Goan nationalism.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
The Toy Train story
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Efate, Vanuatu, transshipment to "Congoola/Lady of the Seas"
Efate, Vanuatu

The Island that Survived “Survivor”

Much of Vanuatu lives in a blessed post-savage state. Maybe for this, reality shows in which aspirants compete Robinson Crusoes they settled one after the other on their most accessible and notorious island. Already somewhat stunned by the phenomenon of conventional tourism, Efate also had to resist them.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

fortress wall of Novgorod and the Orthodox Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, Russia.
Novgorod, Russia

Mother Russia's Viking Grandmother

For most of the past century, the USSR authorities have omitted part of the origins of the Russian people. But history leaves no room for doubt. Long before the rise and supremacy of the tsars and the soviets, the first Scandinavian settlers founded their mighty nation in Novgorod.
Moa on a beach in Rapa Nui/Easter Island
Easter Island, Chile

The Take-off and Fall of the Bird-Man Cult

Until the XNUMXth century, the natives of Easter Island they carved and worshiped great stone gods. All of a sudden, they started to drop their moai. The veneration of tanatu manu, a half-human, half-sacred leader, decreed after a dramatic competition for an egg.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Street Scene, Guadeloupe, Caribbean, Butterfly Effect, French Antilles
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Grand Canyon, Arizona, Travel North America, Abysmal, Hot Shadows
Natural Parks
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.
UNESCO World Heritage
Castles and Fortresses

A Defending World: Castles and Fortresses that Resist

Under threat from enemies from the end of time, the leaders of villages and nations built castles and fortresses. All over the place, military monuments like these continue to resist.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Fisherman maneuvers boat near Bonete Beach, Ilhabela, Brazil
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
gaudy courtship
Suzdal, Russia

Thousand Years of Old Fashioned Russia

It was a lavish capital when Moscow was just a rural hamlet. Along the way, it lost political relevance but accumulated the largest concentration of churches, monasteries and convents in the country of the tsars. Today, beneath its countless domes, Suzdal is as orthodox as it is monumental.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
Riders cross the Ponte do Carmo, Pirenópolis, Goiás, Brazil
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Polis in the South American Pyrenees

Mines of Nossa Senhora do Rosário da Meia Ponte were erected by Portuguese pioneers, in the peak of the Gold Cycle. Out of nostalgia, probably Catalan emigrants called the mountains around the Pyrenees. In 1890, already in an era of independence and countless Hellenizations of its cities, Brazilians named this colonial city Pirenópolis.
Fruit sellers, Swarm, Mozambique
Daily life
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Flock of flamingos, Laguna Oviedo, Dominican Republic
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.