Jalapão Adventure – Into The Desert
On the morning of Wednesday, August 27th we boarded the giant Korubo all terrain vehicle for our 300 km, 8-hour journey into the Jalapão desert, to the Korubo Safari Camp on the Rio Novo. Google Coordinates: 10 35 22 07 South 46 45 27.04 West.
About 2 hours after leaving Palmas, the capital of Tocantins State, the paved road ended. We had a delicious lunch in Ponte Alta, where the dirt roads begin. Brazilian food is heavy – meat, rice, beans, bread, potatoes, farofa, at almost every meal.
After lunch we took a short walk through the town .
About 20 minutes out of town, we were driving through baking hot scrubland. The temperature was about 42 C, 108 F. Although this is “winter” south of the equator, it is the hot dry season. When the rains come in “summer” – December and January the temperature might only get to 33 C, or about 91 F. There is no humidity – so 100 degrees is like 80 in Miami or New York – quite comfortable. By night the temperature drops to the 50s – and to near freezing in June and July.
As we went thought the scrubland there was little shade, the fields were motionless in the heat. At that point we stopped and walked into a field and we could hear water rushing. We walked down a hill and noticed a small crevice. As we followed it the divide became wider and we then climbed down into an underground river. The temperature was at least 30 degrees cooler 25 C or 77 F and there were refreshing waterfalls everywhere.
Back on the Korubo truck we headed out into an absolute wilderness. No towns, or even houses for hundreds of kilometers. The land is flat and sandy, broken by mesas and buttes. Fires race across the land, consuming the thin cover of grass and brush.
At sundown (6 PM) we arrived at Korubo Safari Camp.
Here is a quick tour of the camp. Korubo is completely eco friendly. The Rio Novo is perfectly clean due to no human or cattle habitation in the surrounding terrain.
Water from the river is used for cleaning, cooking and drinking. You can drink directly form the river. There are no plastic water bottles here, unless they are being recycled.
There are fixed tents that never need to be taken down, due to the consistency of the weather.
The shower water is heated by fire, allowing to hot water at the end of each day. Toilets are similar to those on a boat – all waste is dried (far from the camp) and taken to an incinerator in Palmas.
Food is tasty and plentiful. Beer and caiprinhas are served with dinner. Nighttime activity can be gazing at the Southern Hemisphere stars or reading in the tent under a solar powered lamp.
All power in the camp is solar – I even charged my laptop from a solar generator. Korubo may be rustic , but it is run with professional perfection. Check out their website HERE.
By the way , you can avoid 8 hour drive by flying to a nearby airstrip – but that would take away a lot of adventure.
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