Published: June 9th 2009May 21st 2009
So I’m sitting on the pantanal... Well not literally. I’m in the lounge dining room overlooking the river. It’s so nice and HOT here. At least 30, easily 35. Finally!! And humid. Presently there is a nice cool breeze coming through here. I can swim in the river if I want but considering we just went piranha fishing there... maybe not. Hehehe...
So I’ve decided to be a little ambitious in learning Portuguese. But first let me wrap up the journey here. So there was the 14 hour bus ride from iguazu, like 10 stops and one bus change, and even though i was cramped and claustrophobic from the hulk overflowing into my seat from the seat next to me, I slept relatively well. Well really well, and I didn’t mind the long bus ride, it went as quickly as it came. We arrived at 6:30 am in the lovely medium sized city of campo grande, located in central west brasil. Mona was keen on grabbing the first tour out of town to the pantanal, so we let tourist guys grab us and take us to their office, after getting their best price, I turned them down and went to the
office next door and got 10% lower. So after a quick trip to the internet cafe and I ran into to town to pick up a Portuguese grammar book (all in Portuguese, but hey then its twice the fun, right??). We ran back to the bank, and after grabbing a caju juice with leche had just barely enough time to catch the 10:30 bus to the pantanel for our 4-day, 3-night tour. The 4-hour bus with 2 stops, actually took 6 hours with 8 stops, but I couldn’t care less. I had a terrific sleep, and then learnt Portuguese. I read the dictionary and how to conjugate the verbs, a lot of similarities to Spanish but the pronunciation is killer!! And unlike Spanish for some reason if you don’t pronounce it PERFECTLY they can‘t understand a damn thing you say. So we arrived to the middle of nowhere, it was bloody hot and I needed a shower. Sandro, our guide was there to pick us up but said we needed to wait for more people. I didn’t care, I was happy to sit and wait and do whatever for whatever amount of time. Nothing bothered me really, and I was
content with just being. About an hour later we jumped on board a jeep truck thingy and drove through the country pantanal roads for about 20 minutes to where our cabins were located. The ride was spectacular, cruising on the open air, enjoying the late evening sun over the wetlands, crossing numerous tiny bridges. Que lindo!!
So Sandro is Brasilian but speaks perfect English and Portuguese. Therefore, I started speaking mainly Spanish to him and told him I wanted to learn Portuguese. In the evening I spent a couple hours learning new words from him (mostly bad). Hehehe. Filha da puta!! By the end of the evening I learned quite a bit, but I got really mixed up when I tried to explain in French what I learned in Portuguese to these dudes from Montreal. Lol.. I tried and tried to speak French but it kept coming out Spanish, and so I got laughed at quite a lot... oh well.
So but today, Mona, Sandro and I went Parahna fishing. It was cool, they bite the meat we put on the hooks, real fast. You can catch like one fish every 30 seconds if you’re good. One every 5 minutes
if you suck. On the boat I tried to speak with Sandro Portuguese, and it was Portuspanoenglish, but making progress. Hehehe. But was really cool is when I got back, I went to wash my clothes is the laundry sink and there was a lady (who works here) doing her laundry. I asked in Portuguese, posso laver minha roupas aqui? She was like, sim. Then she was like, era Brasilera (but i think it should be e Brasilera? And I was like eu?? And she “sim”. Lol Noa, noa, Canadense. Lol. Mais voce fala Portuguese muito bem. Eu? Noa!! Eu no falo pourtuguese, noa, falo Espanol.. quiro aprender falar Portuguese.. hahhaha
Translation, she thought I was Brazilian, cause apparently my Portuguese was that good!! But only a few words. She didn’t speak a word of English so I continued to speak Portuguese with her. She told me I was the only tourist she could understand!! She told me where her parents live, 6 hours from here. She has a son, and a daughter, beautiful and 22, who was in an accident with her boyfriend cause they were drinking or something…?? She was born in the Pantanal, and has been working
here for 18 years. I told her I learned Spanish in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina, and just came from Iguazu. The bus had muito paradas (many stops) longe, longe. And then next I go to Bonito, depois (than), Campo Grande, then Floronopolis, I think.
Not bad for one afternoon of dictionary reading I think!!! LOL Honestly, though I know I have A LOT to learn but I couldn’t believe I could actually carry a conversation (all though limited) in Portuguese on day 2!! So I’m exicited. Eu disse a Sandro que vou apprender falar Portuguese perfectamente antes de ir emborra. (Not sure if that’s spelt right, but the translation is I told Sandro I will to speak Portuguese perfectly before leaving here). Lol, well I’ll try.
So after fishing did some yoga, ate lunch, and going horse riding in an hour.
There are more photos below