The Pantanal and Iguassu Falls
14.03.2006 35 °C
After the madness that is the Carnival i was ready for some quiet time. Thinking meeting up with the tour would be a bit easier than pulling four all nighters in a row i was sadly mistaken. I think in the last two weeks i have drunk enough beer and punch to sink a fleet of ships, let alone one. but its all good!
Set off from Rio in the morning heading to Paraty down the coast. Rio was amazing but so tiring, i wasnt too unhappy at the thought seeing something different than the bottom of a beer bottle. A 4 to 5 hour drive went quite fast talking to all the new people who were to be my new best mates for the forthcoming 3 months. Upon arriving in Paraty the weather so scorchio. But it was the humidity that takes toll. Had a few quiet beers that night, thinking i´d get a good night sleep for the boat cruise the next. lying in the tent for 10 hours getting a max of 2 hours sleep is not fun. got up looking like a zombie (as everyone kindly pointed out). with all sorts of bugs caught in the mosquito net. there was even a big spikey caterpillar was doesnt doesnt help with the relaxation when trying to sleep. `are they poisonous?´.
The boat cruise was to start at 11am. there was basically an unlimited supply of beer and punch. so i thought there was only one thing for it. drink myself into a stupour so i pass out rather than sleep (well, its better than nothing). And it worked a treat! The boat cruise great. going from deserted beach to deserted beach in the sun drinking ice cold beer was exactly what the doc ordered!
After a few days into the tour it became evident that this is definately an expedition rather than a holiday.Getting up before it even gets light on half the days is tough on the body. but luckily i´m starting to master the sleeping in any conditions now. so i´m getting by.
Next was bonito, the campsite had a lovely river by it. which was certainly a good selling point. It was so refreshing to jump into to cool down. The main reason we stopped at Bonito was to do Rio Do Prata river snorkling. Unfortunately it had rained the day before (when i say rained i mean chucked it down, the tropics dont do these things by halfs). so we could only go half way down the river until the rain water washed into it. The river is unbelievable clear, 30m underwater vision. the river starts in a pond which comes from the underground springs, and react with the lime stones causing crystal clear water. It was great fun with some scarily big fish swimming around us.
On to what i´ve been looking forward to for some time, The Pantanal. Two days of 12 hour drives really makes you think about driving in England. Never again will i think it is a long drive in the UK, this place is massive beyond belief. Arrived at the Pantanal at 10pm in the middle a huge lightning storm. The pitch black became daylight every few seconds as the lightning streaked across the clouds. It gave a great eerie feel to our arrival. Up at 7 the next morning, to go pirahna fishing. I love it. Caught a massive pirahna the guide said was very hard to catch. I must be a natural! The ones we caught were either killed for bait or fed to the Camen who obviously knew what they were waiting for. Was still good to feed a Camen tho.In the afternoon, we went on a boat ride up the very same river we had just caught the pirahna and fed the camen for a bit of wildlife viewing. Didnt see as much as i though we would, but the swim in the river refeshing (definatley not relaxing due to the predators in there). We were warned not to swim if we had any cuts. But i cant shy away from a challenge like that. I would regret not doing it so i did. And i´m here to tell you all so its fine.
Next day, waking up with somewhat of a hangover and with an uncountable amount of mozzy bites we headed to ranch, for a horse ride a hike in the swamp. Both fun, but walking in forrest with huge ants made me wish i´d not worn sandles. Had been bitten by an ant in Bonito and it drew blood. Impressive!
At the Iguassu Falls now, it is nothing short of amazing. The surroundings of plush forrest is incredible. Check the pic. Even got to see a racoon! they are cute. Heading on to Argentina tomorrow after a very much needed day off!