Sad to be leaving Brazil, but our time is up and we need to get back to other bits of our lives. Brazil has given us so many lasting images, mainly glorious wildlife, diversity and fun. A bit of sadness around the ripping out of jungle to make way for cattle or soy. At times we give up on humans and their need to expand. We do what we can. By seeing these things and supporting local industry we help, if only a bit. Cristalino would not exist as primary forest withoiut tourism. The gate into the reserve was the dividing line between barren fields and jungle.
This trip has made us question so many assumptions, about humans and lives.
We were sad to miss the coverage of Elizabeth 2nd’s passing. A big thing.
We are ongoingly sad to hear what other countries think of the UK. The local politics of Brazil seems to be as divided as the UK, but with a lot more poverty. Complicated.
A brief blog as we have been up early before dawn for the mist and mellow fruitfulness Amazon style. 50m tower by 5am with the most glorious views, noises and smells. The pictures really do not do it justice – no noise or smell!
The Cristalino Lodge is so fab. Remote and supports a whole community of locals. Friendly, fab food and to be recommended.
Boating up and down Cristalino River and checking out trails into the forest. There’s always something to surprise and delight but it takes patience. Hot and humid with afternoon thunderstorms but it clears the air and almost immediately turns the foliage bright green. The morning noises are cacophonous and a great alarm call. There’s always activity around our lodge, shrieking parakeets, squawking macaws and a constant battle to keep out the moths and other flying critters who want to join us for the night.
But the jungle doesn’t give up its wildlife easily. This is no zoo. The animals are wary and the jungle is dense. But just as we had imagined ‘proper jungle’ to be. Fab.
The temperature cranked up for our last day – really appreciated how cool it had been. The road trip on the Transpantaneira is not for the faint-hearted in a non-air conditioned bus. Or are we just wimps…..? Yep. A lunch stop at our fab guide Tom’s home town for more rice, beans and lots and lots of beef. It is delicious but, really, so much? The area is pretty much as dry as it’s going to be – hundreds of caimans stranded in muddy ponds as the herons and ibis (Ibisses??) stab out the last fish. An incredible wildlife area but time to head back to Cuiaba for our trip north to the Amazon.
Just amazing. The northern Pantanal is quite superb. Our last lodge, South Wild, is the best so far, but the bar is set fairly low by ‘usual’ hotel standards. But the wildlife is ‘off the scale’, easily. So far on Ocelot, but we remain hopeful. Rice and Beans continue as the staape diet with fruit and river fish. No haut cuisine, but fine and real.
Sadly we will be moving on tomorrow. More fun in The Amazon! xx
The Pantanal are is so full of wildlife and the Jaguars are just extraordinary. They are totally wild, but used to people in boats so you get a chance to get fairly close, and then watch their lives! Sleeping, easting or at least trying to catch lunch.
And the river otters, amazing birds, just so much tro see. In between scratching where the mozzies have bitten.
Our trip to the next lodge, down the Transpantineira by cattle truck. Well, it says safari on it, but it feels like it has no suspension. But, amazing animal life. Capibara, caimen, and huge numbers of birds. Every colour known to man, and a few more. And we have entered Jaguar territory.
All the photos of animals are fully ‘wild’, no animal parks, no idea what we will see.
It’s winter here but it should be warmer. A lot. Iguacu Falls is a UNESCO heritage site and listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This is a good thing as there is some protection for the Atlantic rainforest and its inhabitants. No jaguars on this trip but lots of gorgeous birds.
We have also had a fab time ‘getting over’ jet lag: great hotel, someone else cooking food/ washing up/ making the bed…. yea!
And the area is such a great place. Jungle noises in the morning wake us up at 6.46 exactly. 3 birds that we now look forward to their screeches: red bummed crow thing, brown thing and a slightly bigger blacker thing. All totally amazing (latin names to follow).
Breakfast is a total delight: as much fruit as you can eat, omlettes, croissant, bread, meats.. you get the idea. And, since it’s our last day a glass of Brazilian Champagne. I know; it’s not Champagne. But you know what I mean….
The boat safari was, surprisingly, rather fun! And bloody wet, which was the point. You have the option of ‘wet’ or ‘dry’. Even the ‘dry’ is fairly wet.
So: in summary: 5 nights? Probably one too long, but 2 is definitely too short. You choose. But 2 will leave you feeling you have missed out. Which you will do, if you don’t come and visit here.
A few of the living things we have seen. As usual, they all bugger off as soon as a camera comes close, but a number of images are ‘OK’. Nearly all are ‘in the wild’ ie we just happen to come across them. The red rumped Caique’s are quite extraordinary – loads of them and you only see the red bit as they fly away. And the make a huge noise, the bird equivalent to ‘Its mine’, ‘no it’s not, its mine’ ‘sod off’ ‘no, you siod off’ repeated hundreds of times. They may be saying something else. Who can say!
Most of the fife is seen not photiographed.
This is one of hundreds of shots of the bird flying. But only flew about 2 m so had to be fast!