Bananas & Barefeet
We've decided that we'll try and go somewhere every week so that we get more and more used to cycling and walking. This week we went to Canela again, we didn't really have any urgent supplies to get, but got a few things anyway. One thing we noticed while walking down a street we don't usually go down that was very interesting was some very large healthy banana trees. This is very inspiring because the climate in Canela is almost exactly the same as our land, it gets snow when we get snow, and frost when we get frost. We heard that the main problem with growing bananas in this kind of region is that their trunks are very sensitive to the cold, so we've been surrounding our small ones with piles of grass clippings. But what we noticed with these big ones in Canela was that they had Hydrangeas growing all around their trunks! Hydrangeas grow really well here so we're going to plant them around our bananas too :-)
After we got off the bus at Vaca Velha to begin the 8km walk back to the land, we again decided to try doing it in bare feet - last week we were interrupted by our 4x4 adventure after only a couple of kilometres. The trail is roughly three segments about a third of the distance each. The first is normal dirt road with some loose-metal and some muddy bits which we were quite confident about doing barefoot. The middle section is forest, half native and half pine, and the last section is mainly fields.
We didn't think we'd be able to handle the native forest bit because there are many Grinfa (fallen Araucaria leaves) which are very hard and prickly. We decided to keep going and just put our boots on if and when it got too difficult, but surprisingly we got all the way through the forest without any problem! walking barefoot is really an exercise in awareness, you put your feet down flat so you can shift weight easily if you feel something sharp somewhere, and you always observe the ground and pick a safe point to put your foot down. Applying this process got us through the forest surprisingly quickly. Again as we were nearing the last section of the trail we were thinking that we wouldn't be able to handle it because the long grass is too dangerous in bare feet, but the same thing happened - the problems were all in our minds, and in reality the cow path we follow was all short grass, and there was always a place to step where the ground was visible! in the end we got all the way back home without any problem :-)