Bonito and the Pantanal

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September 7th 2018
Published: September 7th 2018
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14 hour bus ride ? to Bonito not much to do once there other than grab a bite to eat and bed.

Following day we had booked a snorkelling excursion down the Rio De Prata an hour or so away from Bonito. Unfortunately ☔️ it was throwing it down and the thought of having to swim in a river for a couple of hours as well as a 30 minute trek to the starting point in wet suits only meant a lot of long faces that morning. We did however manage to switch to the following day where the weather was looking if not great then certainly better.

This meant a day playing cards, getting out to watch the Man Utd Burnley game and getting wet going from one place to another during the day. Roll on tomorrow.

By 10.15 the next morning half of us were in wet suits and walking through the forest spotting birds and other animals as we headed for the river.

The water was remarkably clear and relatively warm given the recent rain and I have never seen so many fish in one spot anywhere.

Goggles on, we then spent the next couple of hours floating down the river ( getting out once to avoid some rocks) spotting various fish, springs bubbling up and each other bobbing along.

Part of the way down the river we stopped and watched a Tapir, ( South America’s largest mammal) feeding by the side of the river. The snorkelling was well worth getting out to do and certainly better than attempting it in a downpour.

Once showered a good lunch was put on before we then went to Buraco del Araras to see the largest sink hole in South America and one which has become a haven for bird life. Particularly Macaws.

The sounds as we walked across to the viewing platforms of the birds was incredible and once there, we must have seen 50+ Macaws, numerous smaller parrot types, 4 ibis and a hawk being chased off by about 20 Macaws.

All in all, a long but good day.

Next day a 6 hour trip to our next stay, 2 nights at a ranch in Pantalan - Santa Clara......camping! A ranch, it was the polar opposite to Southfork!

As we neared our destination we were rewarded with sightings of herons, blacked headed herons, caymans (a type of alligator) and more.

Once there we found our accommodation- a large shared room with single beds or another with hammocks - we went with the beds, the hammocks we can get in during the day.

A quick lunch then in the afternoon a boat trip out on the river with bamboo fishing rods. We apparently had to catch dinner - Piranha! I caught 3 out of a total of 13 - not bad for someone that hates fishing! Sue took the camera.

Game of volleyball then dinner - Piranha is surprisingly tasty but small. Then cards and bed - I made the mistake of being one of the last ones to bed and ended up with no blanket and given the room was open to the elements except for a mosquito net, not a good position to be in.

One cold and sleepless night ahead but at least I was up in the night to look at the stars and the Milky Way - beautiful sight.

Next days events were a horse ride - bit of a plod and overlong and a couple of walks - one at night where we came across caymans and a couple of owls one of which had caught its prey - something about the size of a bunny.

Some of the animals we managed to see below:-
Capybara, great egret,koi koi heron (grey and black, hawk, Chaka chakalka, jabaru stork, great king ibis, Kara Kara hawk, yellow armadillo, blue heron, Amazonian kingfisher and black horned parakeets.

It was the last night for this group together as just over half we’re heading back to Rio at 5.00am - so goodbye to Sahel, Charley, Christian, Nina, Barbara, Greta, Avner and Kirk - a good bunch of guys and gals.

But for the rest of us onwards to Bolivia ??, the cold and altitude.

Additional photos below
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13th September 2018

Loving your blogs
Best wishes Sue & Richard, we are loving your blogs, what an amazing journey.
13th September 2018

Loving your blogs
Best wishes Sue & Richard, we are loving your blogs, what an amazing journey.

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