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Brazil: Cumbuco sand dunes

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Cumbuco sand dunes > Brazil > Americas

[Visited: August 2019]

After a first kitesurfing lesson on the windy beach near Cumbuco, it is time to explore the hinterland. I have seen the white dunes rising above the low houses of town. With three companions, we set off in a buggy, drive out of town, and straight into the sliver of sand that separates the coastline from the green interior. Before we know it, the driver starts showing his skills at driving up and down the steep hills, making for an exciting excursion. We stop at the top of a dune, where we can slide down the sand slope to a small lake at the bottom on hand-made boards. We continue towards the west, with always higher dunes, and make regular stops. From the top of the dunes, we see a green landscape stretching south, towards the mountains in the distance. A scenery hidden from view when you are in town.

Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Early morning view of the sand dunes

After a short stretch on an asphalt road, we are back on the sand, and stop at another, even smaller lake than the one before: Banana Lake. I slide down the steep sand, and wonder how the sharp line between a landscape of sand, and the lush green vegetation can exist. Working my way up the dune is a good exercise, and we continue further west. We pass more small lakes, see many birds of prey, always racing up and down the narrow strip of sand dunes between coastline and green interior. Another short stop at the bend of the Cauhipe river offers us a view of a steep sand dune rising from the dark waters. Crossing the river on a narrow bridge brings us to an ecological area with more dunes. From the top of one of them, we again have sweeping views of both the plains with the mountains in the south, and the coastline to the north. Scores of birds of prey circle the sky here. Close by we see the sun set over a landscape of sand dunes.

Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Top of a sand dune sculpted by the wind

The next morning, I am up early for a walk through the dune landscape. Unfortunately, we sun rises behind a thick, dark cloud, and it is only half an hour later that the first rays of sun touch the undulating lines of the sand dunes, which are constantly shaped and reshaped by the wind that always blows from the east. The ribs in the sand, the curves casting shadows on the white sand: this landscape never bores. I follow the crest of a high dune, am surprised to find quite a few people walking through the landscape over the dunes from the south: it turns out there is a small village just behind. At some points, where you cannot see the masts of Cumbuco, and only see one sand dune rise after another, it feels like being in an endless world of sand. When the sun rises higher, it is time to walk to the beach and back to town over the hard sand.

Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Patch of forest with sand dunes
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Sun setting over the western dunes near Cumbuco
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Landscape with flats and dunes
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Ribs of sand sculpted in the landscape by the wind
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Banana Lake at the foot of a sandy dune
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Bend in the Cauhipe river with sandy shoreline
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Sandy landscape near Cumbuco
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Sandy landscape near Cumbuco
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Sandy landscape near Cumbuco in the early morning
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Sand dunes in the early morning
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Rickety goal post on the sand of Cumbuco
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): Trees and bushes covering hills beyond a sand dune
Picture of Cumbuco sand dunes (Brazil): View over one of the many sand dunes towards the west

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