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Published: September 13th 2011
Pampa: An extensive generally grass-covered plain of temperate South America east of the Andes.
I am not going to go into depth on this one, we didn't do a huge amount, the trip was good but very 'on the rails' and the photos of the animals is enough.
We took a boat in heavy rain to reach our camp, though this was the most important of the tour. from our narrow boat we saw endless capybaras, caymans, alligators and some pink and blue river dolphins as well. The capybara is possibly the most benign creature on earth - they sit or stand, but never appear to move. You could slap one across the face and it would remain expressionless. A joke was made when we saw one in the river that it had probably been pushed in two weeks previously but couldn't be bothered to get out again. The dolphins were definitely less attractive than their sea relatives, perhaps this is why they have chosen to live in muddy brown water instead.
After arriving we spent the evening warming by a fire in the camp which consisted of a few basic wooden buildings and oddly some proper western
The second day we entered the pampas proper in search of anacondas, this is basically a large grassy area that was formed and the jungle was burned clear. One of the guides found one after a couple of hours, lying curled in some grass. The snake was extremely docile, only seeming to want to get away from us, but alas the over eagerness of some people less to it being touched which isn't overly sanitary to nature.
We were asked if we wanted to continue walking to find more but we declined - personally, I thought it was kinda cool to see the snake, but I can't say I find them overly interesting, give me a tiger, rhino or orang-utan any day!
We fished in the afternoon for piranha, where I caught my first and only fish of my life. Having expected to catch and release I was mildly disturbed when our guide rammed a stick through its head, attaching to a stick as it stick flickered about.
We took another boat trip along the river to a sunset view point, during which we saw hundreds of turtles that had been hidden during the rain.
The sunset was superb, only out performed by sunrise the next morning we enjoyed after a night of eating birthday cake for Sonia.
After the epic sunrise during which the sky turned countless different colours we returned to camp for breakfast and spotted some toucans in the trees far away. This was to be the last thing we did in the camp before jumping back on the boat for the two hour return trip to where it all started. En-route back we were treated to some monkey action and jumped off quickly in pursuit of some rhea, but unfortunately for this we were too slow.
It was a good trip, we saw a lot of wildlife, including the comical sight of a capybara lying next to a three metre cayman, either not caring, or more likely, having not noticed it was there - I like to think they are as stupid as they look! My only problem with the trip was that we had seen basically everything within the first boat trip and after that it was two days of doing the same with the exception of the sunrise/sunset and the anaconda hunt. If it was possible and
I had the choice, I would most definitely do a single day trip instead.
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