Lenšˇis Maranhenses

One of the most marvelous, unique places in the world, the desert known as Lenšˇis Maranhenses is an area of about 300 square kilometers of blinding white dunes and turquoise lakes...what, water in the desert? Yes. It rains a lot for several months and each depression between dunes becomes a lake of crystal clear water...For Brazilian cinema buffs: Lençóis Maranhenses is where "Casa de Areia" (House of Sand) was filmed.

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The ride there - in a 4x4 with a snorkel - through sand, mangroves, lakes, and streams, is quite an experience, too! In fact, the whole thing is so incredible, I'm afraid to advertise it for fear too many people will want to head that way...The first palms are babassu, the others are buritis. I used the outhouse behind the bar with the dish antenna on the way to the little town of Barreirinhas...high and low technology coexist peacefully, as far as I could tell. The Pousada dos Buritis is a brand new inn in Barreirinhas. The car with the loudspeakers I found extremely annoying, but no one else seemed to mind the very in-your-face brand of street advertising...

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