Welcome to the Curiosity Shoppe (and #Giveaway)

Remember last week’s blog about curiosity? Well, here’s my latest quest.

I was watching some mindless TV a couple of nights ago before going to bed. It was after midnight so I’m not even sure what the show was, but it was showing an area that I couldn’t believe was real because it looked so….surreal.

But real it is. It’s a national park in northeastern Brazil called Lençóis Maranhenses. At first glance, it looks like an amazing desert of stark-white sand.

White sand dunes of the Lencois Maranheses National Park in Brazil. Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity for Unesco

White sand dunes of the Lencois Maranheses National Park in Brazil. Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity for Unesco

But it is a layer of sweeping dunes that lie atop a solid layer of rock. It falls just outside the Amazon Basin, so when the rainy season comes, fresh water collects in the valleys of the sand dunes. It can’t sink in because of the layer of rock beneath the sand, so it forms these gorgeous blue pools or lagoons. The lagoons get large enough to hook up with rivers in the area and here come fish. When the rainy season ends and the water starts drying up, the fish (the ones not caught and eaten) swim back to the rivers.

Reflections in the water of a desert









It’s an amazing landscape, and I think it’s cool that Brazil has protected it as a national park. Apparently some people do live in the areas outside the dunes, mostly fisherman who work during the rainy season. The dunes area isn’t accessible except by 4WD.


So I made PDFs of some pages for my curiosity files and, who knows, it might show up in a book someday. It might make a nice spot to bury a bad vampire. In the meantime, it was a delightful place to learn about and I like knowing there’s such a starkly beautiful place in the world.

Images copyrighted and used via permission of depositphoto.com.

Images copyrighted and used via permission of depositphoto.com.

Would you like to visit? I’d love to see it, although I can’t imagine surviving more than a minute in the heat—LOL. Leave a comment on Lençóis Maranhenses—or share your latest Google search—to be entered for a TBR that I can pretty much guarantee will not be set there.


This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , by Suzanne Johnson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

31 thoughts on “Welcome to the Curiosity Shoppe (and #Giveaway)

  1. Nice pictures, I wouldn’t want to visit. My current feelings about travel outside the U.S. is, DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER!!! I also feel that way about travel around Chicago….

    • Yeah, I’m kind of on that Will Robinson boat with you these days, Roger! Travel around Auburn? It’s pretty darn safe now that the 25,000 college students have left town for the summer!

  2. My last Google search was, coincidentally, also about Brazil, and the Zika virus. I read that athletic competitions were being moved to other countries because of the health threat, and I wanted to know more about the virus. I learned that it is also compounding the financial crisis in Puerto Rico, by virtually drying up the tourist industry that is PR’s. lifeblood. Nasty disease. The effect on babies is particularly horrific. Mothers infected with Zika give birth to children with microencephaly, irreparably damaged brains and malformed skulls. So no, I would not want to visit Brazil. It does sound like a great setting for fiction. Burying a vampire or stubborn fairy lol.

    My creativity this week has been gardening. I planted some hybrid oriental/trumpet lilies. They are supposed to have flowers the size of a dinner plate and grow 6 -8 feet tall. Also Dutch irises. I love irises and lilies. Louisiana irises are spectacular, but don’t grow well in the Midwest. They are one of the prettiest things I saw in the bayou.

    • Yes, that is a scary virus–it’s also crept into the Deep South of the U.S. I’m not an outdoorsy girl, so I’m not too worried for myself, but i wondered if they’d end up having to move some of the Olympic venues, which makes me sad for Brazil.

      Louisiana has beautiful irises and lillies as well. I had a yard full of both day lillies and tiger lillies in my yard in NOLA.

  3. That sounds like an amazing national park! I would love to see it but am concerned about the zika virus. Even for people who are not pregnant the disease can potentially cause neurological difficulties. Last Google search was for the drive to Sacramento.

  4. I’d like to see it, but not enough to go to Brazil. My last Google search was about Fred Harvey and his Harvey House hotels, especially the El Tovar at the Grand Canyon South Rim. I’m getting ready to do a presentation on the Grand Canyon Railroad, so I was doing research. And, every time I’d read about the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, I’d hear Judy Garland singing…

  5. I’d like to see it but don’t have any desire to travel outside of the US these days.

    • I know–sadly, I feel the same way. It’s partly terrorism but almost as much the hassle of flying and many-hour lines to get through security. If I could DRIVE to Europe, I’d go in a heartbeat, although it would be an awfully long drive. LOL.

  6. as long as I could go back to “civilization” i.e. a hotel room with indoor plumbing and air conditioning, I would love to visit! I keep buying lottery tickets in the hope of winning enough to quit my job and travel 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    • There you go, Erin. I would leave my air-conditioned hotel, get in an air-conditioned ATV, drive through the dunes. Maybe hop out and take some photos, then hop back in the ATV and back to the luxury hotel. 🙂

  7. Hi Suzanne!! Wow, that looks totally amazing! I would love to see it, for about 10 minutes and then the heat would get to me. So many places to go where I wouldn’t melt. I appreciate the photos though. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • It’s really cool looking, isn’t it? Well, not cool. Dismally hot, but still beautiful. See my comment above to see the terms on which I’d actually visit :-). You can go with me!

      • You know that I would be there Suzanne!! Under those conditions of course!

  8. ..somehow i missed the will robinson explanation but i’m really curious since Roger used it

    now it’s looking wonderfull but with a big allergy to the sun this week ( while protected by +50 and covered with clothes ( yes yes don’t try to understand how light managed to go all past that) i think it would be a very bad idea for me to visit such a place and at the same time while i enjoy looking at teh picture i don’t feel the want to go tehre in person either ( strange i guess i’m more ” forest” mode right now)

    • I also have a mild sun allergy–makes me break out in a rash, although I didn’t know that until I went to Hawaii. Hope you feel better!

      “Danger, Will Robinson!”….That comes from an old American TV show called “Lost in Space.” One of the characters was Will Robinson, and the family robot would say “Danger, Will Robinson!” when danger was imminent. It’s become part of the American pop culture lexicon even though I read somewhere that that actual line only appeared in one episode. Anyway, I think most Americans are afraid to travel out of the country right now because we’re so hated in most places we feel like targets. It’s sad because it’s a big, beautiful world out there.

      • Seriously, only one episode. I thought it was in probably half of them. The only one I use more often than the “Danger, WR” is Looks like we’re “not in Kansas anymore” .

  9. Well all my American friends, travel to Canada and see some amazing places. British Columbia on the west coast has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Ontario in the central is cottage country and my home province, and the east coast ( as Suzanne will agree) is also very very pretty. Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail, Peggy’s Cove etc etc. Lençóis Maranhenses looks amazing but I think I will stay close to home for awhile.

    • Oh, I’d absolutely LOVE to do Canada coast to coast. Once I quit the day job, some friends and I have talked about starting in Vancouver and wander all the way to the tip of Cape Breton. Ambitious, but then again, the day job will be history by then. Probably, budget will force us to do it a bit at a time. The only area I’ve spent any significant time in is Montreal, which I absolutely love…although it was in March and CONSIDERABLY colder than what I left at home!

  10. OMG! What a truly gorgeous park. Googled it and managed to while away nearly an hour looking at pictures and reading articles on it. Alas, I’m truly a homebody and hate to sleep in any bed other than my own. Gotta admit though this would be a magical setting for a paranormal romance. Bring on the vamps!

    • Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m actually kind of a homebody as well. I like BEING places, I just don’t like getting there. Alas, I haven’t yet perfected my teleportation device 🙂

  11. Love the white sand. I’m getting notions of bottling a piece of the sands for sentimental memory.

  12. So amazing about the white sand dunes in a place that is so unexpected. I prefer to visit a place with water/mountains/ trees, so I would not want to see it in person, especially if hot.

  13. It is beautiful in a stark, hostile environment kind of way. Not sure I’d want to visit. Happy to look at pictures.

  14. The pictures of Lençóis Maranhenses are gorgeous. If I got the chance, I would definitely go there just to see the amazing views.

  15. I love it and would enjoy visiting. We are going to Colombia and Machu Picchu in the Fall. Maybe next year Brazil. No wait I have to go to Moldova.

  16. The pictures are awesome, but I couldn’t stand the heat. I’d like to see more of the world, but there is too much craziness going on for me to travel right now. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wow, what an amazing place! I’ve never heard of it before. Beautiful pictures! I’d visit in a heart beat! (If I was in an air conditioned vehicle.)