Posts Tagged 'Rio Novo'

Posted in:

The morning of September 1st dawns like every other – clear and cool. While daytime temperatures soar to near 38 – 100 F , it is about 14 C – 57 F in the early morning.

We pack up – everything . This is “leave no trace” camping. Even the bonfire is built over a screen in the sand – in the morning the ashes are thrown in the river. Other than footprints , that will be blown away by the wind within an hour – no one would know that a camp of tents and cooking /eating areas was there only hours before.

The rapids today are more frequent and more powerful – up to class 3.

We set up camp at a beautiful river beach – but forest fires flare up throughout the night. Some of the crew puts out the fires with sticks.

Dinner was delicious – pasta followed by flambé, with champagne and red wine.

We saw no people other than our crew the entire day.


Posted in:

This morning the Korubo truck takes us to join a new expedition, with Quatro Elementos – for a three-day rafting trip down the Rio Novo. In that time we will cover only 60 kilometers, but it will be action packed. Two nights will be spent camping on riverside beaches.

Qautro Elementos is another very professional adventure travel company. It is owned and operated by Massimo Desiati – one time kayaking champion of Brazil . Check out the website HERE.

About 10 AM we set off down the river. These kids were having a Sunday morning swim – they came from a nearby settlement of 150 people.

We are given safety instruction – helmets, preservers and shoes must be on at all times unless otherwise indicated.

The first day featured a small amount of rapids up to Class 2. Other times it was calm enough swim or drift in the fast moving water alongside the raft.

The cargo raft is transporting the very computer I am now blogging on – an ancient G4 iBook that will soon be replaced. Dry bags are used to protect valuables – but that’s no help if they are swept away downstream.

Late afternoon we pitch camp. At night we dine at a farmers house about a kilometer away from the camp. Everything is made of local ingredients, except for the meat since there is no cattle grazing in the area.


, ,
Posted in:

Day One

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.