Hippy Life, no really.

Capão is a very special place where time doesn’t exist and the internet is so slow it might as well not exist. It is the perfect place to go and decompress, grow your hair out, not shave, not wash, be one with nature. I found myself almost falling over at times because I was star gazing and it’s possible to see other galaxies in Capão. The town is small and hard to get to. You have to take a bus from Salvador to Palmeires then a van or car to Capão. It’s all very dusty and cowboy-ishFullSizeRender (1).

The town of Capão consists of normal black/indigenous Brazilians with clean houses and ipods, hippies and tourists passing through for the vibes, weed, energy, mountain trails and general lax atmosphere. Within the first day of Capão I was naked in two different rivers. I had an insightful conversation with a black Colombian woman. She was the only black hippies I encountered in my time there. Her son was blond and white, she was brown.  She told me how his dad was Argentinean and how they travel a lot. They lead a nomadic life. She told me she thought I was Brasilian or maybe even Colombian. She was surprised that I was from the states, (which will be the topic of a much longer post in the future). She kept trying to get her son to come to me, she would say, “ella e sua Tia, mira mira a ella.” He cried. I guess he didn’t see family in me.

Later in the day I found myself sitting in the town square at the super market reflecting on how a place like Capão could even exist. FullSizeRender (3) The locals seemed like they weren’t interested in the lifestyle that many came from all over to get a piece of. Many of the hippies were musicians,  Cagıl the friend I was staying with is a bad ass singer and flute player. She took me to a sauna and drum circle and I was coaxed into singing praises to Jah all night. It was as strange as it was exhilarating. I was in the woods with a bunch of different types of white people, my black American distrust kicked in, but then I looked up at the stars and remembered that I was safe. These were good white people. Seriously. But I also remembered how the woods or nature can be seen as refuge. When people are looking for freedom they run to the woods. In the game of “Tag” base is usually a tree. I don’t think I’ve ever been safer than I was that night in the woods.  Although I may have came of as stand offish to the people I met because I was extremely high and I’m usually quiet in new environments, eventually I warmed up. I plan on going back to there for a few weeks before I leave Brazil in August. There are things I need to discover.

Cachoeira da Fumaça

I think I’ve found a place I can continue to come back to.  Capão, a small town over run with hippies located in Palmeiras, Bahia is my new favorite place in the world. It’s a part of the huge mountainous region they call Chapada Diamintina.  3After getting fired from my job on a random Wednesday afternoon, I decided to take the money that I was paid and go to Capão. I had heard that it was a special place, and it turned out to be true.  Being blessed with awesome friends, I was able to stay with one of the most interesting people I’ve encountered in a long time. Her name is Cagıl Cokan, she’s a gypsy and a very talented musician. IMG_2434

After about 6 hours of travel by bus (one of my favorite ways to explore) I finally got to her house. We went to a belly dance class, which was my first but won’t be my last. The 4 days and 3 nights spent in Capão were mystical and frightening and I’m still thinking about it. It was a high that I’m not ready to let go off. While there I hiked the cachoeira da fumaça a trail that leads to a waterfall so high that the water doesn’t touch the bottom before it evaporates.

9It was dry when I went, so my hike was relatively fast and easy (as easy as a two hour hike can be). The hike was really awesome. It was cool to experience how moving my feet and breathing could  change my surroundings.13

I spent the whole day there in the mountains. I would have stayed longer but I had to get down before it got dark, as I had no flashlight and ran out of water. The journey back down was when I realized how far I traveled and how dangerous the trail could have been if the waterfall had been wet. 4I would later see this as a metaphor for my time in Salvador. I felt blessed. And surprisingly not tired.

In those mountains I didn’t have any great revelations or visions. But I was very impressed with the fact that I was able to complete the hike and actually enjoy it. It was so simple. Just walking up a hill, climbing some rocks, siting by water. 5

I walk a trail in my city, it’s nothing like the cachoeira da fumaça but it’s a part of my self care ritual. I need to go outside in nature sometimes, because my brain is over active. And after losing my job here in Salvador, (something I’ll write about more in another post) I had been feeling fearful and confused and alone. That hike reminded me that there was nothing for me to fear.