The State Park of Pedra da Boca is a small region on the state border between Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte. We visited for 2 nights last week (The middle of February 2016) along with Marina’s aunt Angela and her husband Victor.

It’s an area of imposing granite sugarloaves rising from the surrounding, rolling terrain. The hills project 100-150m above the nearby farmland. It’s in a region called the Sertão, sometimes called the Brazilian Desert. called the Agreste, a narrow transition zone between the moist coastal region, and the extremely dry interior, the SertãoUsually it’s a parched landscape of scrubland, cacti and dust. [Thanks to Marcel for the correction]

Luckily for us however, we visited during 3 days of intense, heavy, highly unseasonal rain, during what’s normally the hot dry summer.

Warm and refreshing, but wildly unexpected.

The trip from João Pessoa took about 2½ hours, with a quick stop in the charmingly named “Passa e Fica” (Pass and Stay).

Our accomodation was the Pousada (Small Hotel) Fulô da Pedra. For a two-night stay, 3 meals per day, drinks and guided tours, we paid 330R$ each, or about €75. The owner, Gil, is both a horse trainer and a photographer – on our second night he opened up the gallery within the Pousada. His recent project shows stark black-and-white panoramic photos of prison life in a now-closed jail in Natal.

We joined another family for guided tours of the hills nearby, and to learn a bit about the local flora and fauna. Our guide, Teco (15), was experienced for his age, and did a great job showing us around at the beginning.

Our second day took us up into the caves on the opposite side of the valley, to Pedra dos Santos, which has ancient indigenous cave paintings, behind a small religious altar, and a huge “stadium-style” modern church.

Seu Tico, a local legend, was our guide on the final day. With his company there are many options: including abseiling, caving, and overnight camping. Due to the rain, we opted for a shorter version, learning how to survive out in the Sertão, using hardy endemic plants for food, water, construction, and more besides. Then the rain lashed down, and we were up to our knees in it.

All in all, a solid 10/10 trip.