A Travellerspoint blog

Pantanal

Wild and wonderful two days on a farm

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Arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia this morning after a 14hr night train. Not great, didnt get a lot of leg room and the baby behind us kept waking up and crying. Plus the train shook a lot, so we are still swaying.

Pantanal was brilliant though. We saw so much wild life, dad you would have loved it. There were so many different types of birds, we saw tucans, paraqueets (dont know how to spell that) hawks, storks, vultures and two massive storks called Jaberoos (they were in a nest up a tree and were so huge. They mate for life aswell). We also saw loads of caiman, a couple of armadillo, marsh deer, water hogs and capivara (the largest rodent in the world) oh and a caiman lizzard that was huge too. The guide, a cowboy (Goucho in Portugese) called Alex told us that the lizzard was poisonous and could run really fast so we took the photo and quickly moved on. Also saw monkeys and a fox called a crab eating fox. There were so many different animals, it was really amazing to see them in the wild and hear the different noises they all made.

Pantanal is the largest marsh inland and is about the size of France. Global warming has caused it to start drying up though, it was sad to see large areas really dry that were obviously once covered in water. Alex said that the animals are being affected too because of the water levels dropping. We did a night safari and saw hundreds of caiman huddled together near pools, ALex said it was unusual to see soo many caiman in the one spot but it was because there was less water. Seeing somthing like that makes you realise what damage you are doing. At home you can pretend its not that bad but when you go somewhere like that and see the effects first hand its quite scary.
The night safari was good, because the sun was setting loads of animals came out. Once it was dark Alex shawn his torch over the pools and all you could see was the caimans eyes shinning back, pinks, reds and yellow. It was so pretty, like being in a plane and looking down over a city.

We also went horse riding, which I was a little scared of at first but soon got used to it when I realised the horse wasnt going to take off or throw me off. Half way into the horse ride it started to pour and thunder. The horses wernt scared of the thunder or lightning but they were scared of the rain, so we had to take cover under the trees for a bit.

There were loads of thunder storms while we were there, seemed to be every morning and night, but they were so pretty to watch sitting on the decking at the farm. The hammocks were fun but not very comfy to sleep in. I woke up stiff every morning and because we were in a barn with everyone else you didnt get much sleep for the people snoring.

The day we left we went piranha fishing in the river. Good to try but I got bored easliy, especially cause I couldnt catch anything. Kev was the first one to catch a fish, a catfish that we had to be careful of because they have poisonous spikes in their fins. I think that me and Charlotte, one of the other girls on the tour, were the only ones to not catch anything. I must have had a broken rod, thats my excuse anyway.

From Pantanal we took a bus to the border to cross into Bolivia. What a palava...our tour leader had to cross seperatly because GAP dont give them working visas for Bolivia and if she was caught would have to pay a huge fine or go to prison. So we all had to hang about at the crossing waiting on taxis cause they wouldnt let us cross in the mini van for some reason. Then when we went to get our passports stamped they made up some charge of 5 dollars each or we couldnt get in. Then when we were getting on the night train some guy made up another fee to put our bags on. We had alreay paid for the tickets but he wanted more money to put the bags on. 5 boliviano, only 50p but thats not the point. We were being taking for a ride left right and centre. Bolivia might be really cheap but I think they can get away with anything, which will really wind me up.

Nevermind, spending the day in Santa Cruz just recovering from the 14hr night bus then off again tomorrow. Flying to Sucre tomorrow morning, only a 30min flight over the Andes.

Hope eveyone is well. Take care, speak soon.
Love C and K xxxxx

Posted by Wayward83 13:10 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Chill out day

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The rest of the group have gone snorkeling, which was a bit too expensive and cold for us. So we´re just chilling out today. Uploading photos and watching the locals go about their buisness. At least the sun is out although theres still a bit of a chill.

Heading to Pantanal tomorrow where we do the horseback riding and piranha fishing. Down to our last few days in Brazil, Bolivia here we come.

Posted by Wayward83 09:53 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Night bus from hell!!

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Arrived in Bonito this morning after a night from hell!! Got on a bus yesterday at 5pm which was minging and we had to get off 3 hrs later to swap for a nicer bus, which turned out to be a bit more comfy but smelled soo bad. The bus stopped every few miles to pick up more people and every time someone got on they made such a racket they woke everyone up...one woman paced the bus yabbering away and shoving everyones bags about above us, one woman got on with a screaming toddler and an old man kept snorting all night!! As u can imagine we did not get a good nights sleep. Then at 5am we had to get on a smaller private bus taking us to our hotel which was supposed to be 3hrs away but ended up 4! Not a great night!!

Yesterday morning was good, we went to the Brazilian side of the waterfalls. It was a little foggy to start with but we walked up to a viewing platform that took us out on top of one of the falls. We got absolutly soaked again but it was so amazing to watch. There was so much water and the power of it was breathtaking. Then we walked right up to the side of it watching it all cascade down, it was stunning. We could have spent hours there mesmerised by it. We got some good pics but typically we cant find anywhere to upload them so u`ll just have to wait.

While walking round the waterfalls we saw some spiders (high enough away from me, thank god) a huge stork, a tucan flying above the trees, some courmarants fishing, a caiman (small croc) in the water when we were on the dingy, and lots of racoon type things runing about looking to be fed. Kev opened his bag to get somthing out and they must have heard the crisp packet because next thing he was surrounded by them all hanging on to his leg. I thought they were going to start climbing up him at one point so we made a quick exit.

Today we went to see a massive cave in Bonito. It was pretty deep and had lots of stalagtites and stalagmites and had a really blue pool at the bottom. The guide said that the pool went down 19meters and had lots of unique shrimp in the pool that were poisonous. He also said that there were two fossils deep down in the pool of a sabber tooth tiger and a huge gorilla type thing. We couldnt see them so he could have been making that up! There are also heart shaped bats living in the cave but we never got to see any.
After going to the caves we headed back to the hotel for a few hours kip. Just going to have a lazy day tomorrow and try to find somewhere we can upload our photos from.

The weather is still not great. It seems the further we head inland the colder and wetter its getting. Its there winter just now but I just thought that South America was hot and suny all year round!!

Hope everyone is well and happy.
Speak to u soon, hopefully we can get some photos up.

Take care, love C&K xxxx

Posted by Wayward83 13:51 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Iguaçu waterfalls

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Hi everyone. Had an amazing day yesterday. went to see the waterfalls on the Argentinian side, so we´ve got another stamp in our passports as well. spent all day at the park, first we went on a boat that took us right up to the falls, we got absolutely soaked but it was great fun. The falls were absolutely amazing, never seen anything like it. Then we got out of the boat dripping wet and walked up to lookout points over the falls. Devils throat was the name of one of them and it was breathtaking. Could have stayed there for hours watching the water. Then we took a wee train ride to another part and got in a wee dingy and the guy paddled us along the river with the top of the falls in the background (claire was freaking out a wee bit thinking we would go over). The whole day was fantastic, one of the best so far. We wanted to upload some photos but we didnt have acess to a USB slot so we´ll do it as soon as we can. Have to go now so Bye for now. We´ll update you all soon. PS no major creepy crawleys yet so all is good :) xxx

Posted by Wayward83 07:17 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Long journey

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Just arrived at Foz Do Iguaçu. We´re a bit tired at the mo, just spent 18 hours between 2 busses from Paraty.
just relaxing for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we go to the Argentinian side of the waterfall and the day after we see the Brazilian side. We are going to take a boat tomorrow right up to the falls and we´re gonna get absolutely soaked. Then on wednesday we have got another 13 hours on another night bus. WOO HOO!!!

Posted by Wayward83 10:52 Archived in Brazil Tagged bus Comments (2)

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