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Published: March 11th 2014
Another Brazilian dam
January (Odyssey Day 76)
We had a relatively late start today, departing at 1030. I believe the main reason was because we had to collect our laundry and it didn’t open until 0700. As it turned out, we needed the extra time because it was a bit complicated to get our clothes back. It was all mixed up and they tried charging double what was quoted. It certainly served to exasperate everyone. I was one of the fortunate few who got all my clothes back – there weren’t too many who could say the same (and there were a few people who got a shirt or two back the next day as people went through their bags and found more things that didn’t belong).
We headed for Pousada Bom Jardim, a campsite not too far away, and it was lovely and dry when we arrived. The sun even came out for a bit! The wooden slat hammocks we found were surprisingly comfortable and we made ourselves at home quickly. It was nice to arrive early and set up our tents early enough to give them
Pousada Bom Jardim
Surprisingly comfortable wooden hammocks
a chance to dry out from the last stop.
The camp was nice and relaxed, plenty of soft grass for the tents, dry paths to avoid puddles, covered areas to socialise, and even hot showers. Arriving so early meant dinner wasn’t too late, although it was incredibly salty tonight.
January (Odyssey Day 77)
Today was a free day for everyone. The main attraction here was a chance to snorkel in the river, which is apparently very clear and has a lot of fish. Unfortunately, it was lightly drizzling this morning and didn’t look to be stopping any time soon. So we all opted to give it a miss, and just hung around the camp, playing card games (including a new game of cards called backpacker which was excessively complicated to learn but fun to play), reading or watching movies on our computers.
I was on cook group today, so I did have a break to prepare lunch at 1300. The group then met up at 1600
Pousada Bom Jardim
Poor Ithaca stuck in the mud
to go in to town and see a lake (Lagoa das Araras) where the macaws roost. The idea was to be there for sunset. Unfortunately, Ithaca managed to get stuck in the mud as Simon was backing up to turn around. And by stuck, I mean stuck and she had to be pulled out by a tractor. It made for an interesting afternoon and was entertaining for some of us – though no one would say that where Simon could hear!
We were therefore a bit late getting in to town, and didn’t arrive until 1715, so we went straight to the lake to see the macaws. Unfortunately the light was wrong to take pictures of the birds, but the lake itself was very beautiful even if it is man-made and not likely to last too long if the palms rot. We stayed to watch the sunset at the lookout platform.
We made it back to camp at 1900 to start dinner in the dark, something we are quite accustomed to by now.
It was here, in
this idyllic little camp in the middle of nowhere, that Emma made what will probably be the biggest announcement of the trip. Due to a travel warning update from the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Odyssey (as a UK company) would no longer be able to travel across the border from Venezuela to Colombia. Since there are very few ways to cross the northern part of the continent by road, this means we will not be able to visit Venezuela at all. A huge disappointment to most of the group, including myself. I had really been looking forward to visiting Angel Falls, as well as travelling through the Amazon.
Now we will instead head to Colombia, travelling via the new Interoceanic highway, then up through Peru and Ecuador in a hurry in order to reach the north coast of Colombia in time to get back onto the original itinerary. It means we will miss our boat up the river and our Amazon trip from Manaus, so instead we will take a guided trip into the Amazon from Puerto Maldonado in Peru, and have a chance to visit some towns that were not in
Lagoa das Araras
AJ on the lookout at the lake
our original travel plans. While really disappointing, we decided to make the most of the changes, knowing there wasn’t anything else to do about it. It would certainly be a hot topic of conversation for a while though.
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