Our base for the last 4 days has been Lençóis. Originally it was a mining town and the centre for the diamond trade for the area. It propsered and the buildings all have the distinctive Colonial appearance seen elsewhere on our travels in the North East. It was built on the mountain side on the Serrano River valley and many of its streets are very steep. The majority are also very narrow and in the evening in the centre of town are mainly taken over by restaurant tables. Many of the shops sell local craft works and the place has a distinctly ‘hippy’ vibe.
Our Pousada, Pouso da Trilha was a relatively basic place with few frills but had a very tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. It was on the west side of the town close to the centre and within minutes of stepping out in the evening we were tripping over restaurant tables, there was certainly no shortage of places to eat or drink, and the food was all really good. It took a while to get here but it was worth the effort.
A little history. One of the streets is called Rua das Pedras, or Road of Stones, and at first glance you could be mistaken for thinking the name referred to the cobbles which pave most of the streets. The cobbles, however, were laid in the 1970s to stop the streets washing away in the rain and the name is far older. Rua das Pedras used to be the place miners, fresh back from prospecting and with pockets full of diamonds, would go for entertainment and in paying for it would leave most of their ‘stones‘ behind in Rua das Pedras!
Lençóis is a lively, colourful place and has bags of character and charm. Quite apart from the proximity to the magnificent scenery it is a nice place just to wander round. Although a tourist destination it did not have a particularly tourist feel. All in all a very enjoyable destination.