Edit Blog Post
Published: April 28th 2008
Picture a flat flooded landscape, strange pig-like, pig-sized rodents grazing on the short grassy islands, beautiful gaudy macaws glide above cawing noisily, cows wallowing neck deep in tea coloured water. Sunsets that reflect golden hues in every direction, a world you could invert and almost see the same.
I ride a stocky pantanal horse, a mongrel breed that descended from those strong enough to survive the extremes of the world's largest wetland. The sunset envelopes and encloses me - the silhouettes of my amigos a few hundred yards ahead - we head back towards the farm come pousada (guest house) that has been the base for the last few days. The horse flinches, a riderless pony shambles closer, chisel teeth bared - without me would my stoic steed behave so aggressively? Unsaddled it proves so.
It's been a day of walking neck deep in flood lands, swimming sections - knowing that the water is home to Piranhas, Cayman and Anacondas - spotting howler monkeys high in the canopy of pocketed woodlands, learning about much of the flora and fauna - at home quickly with the environment. Learning the names and habits of new birds and beasts, discovering that the
piranha is very tasty barbecued, and the small starchy banana shaped fruit of the palms are disappointing but the nut enclosed within is the staple of the many macaw's diet.
Hearty food, warm friendly company, rainy nights, sunny days and mosquito bites.
So this story lacks a beginning a middle and an end. I hope these few paragraphs of description, and the photographs that accompany them make up for the lack of drama. Details
I stayed at Posada Santa Clara (arranged the visit through the HI hostel in Campo Grande) - and was very happy with everything - if you go to the Pantanal - take more insect repellent that you think is neccessary, be prepared to walk barefoot through knee-deep cow dung, know that the highlight of the day will be gutting piranhas - and enjoy 😊
The Pantanal has the greatest concentration of fauna in the Americas. People outside Brazil know only the Amazon. . . it's a shame because the Pantanal is a very important ecological place.
Dr. Maria Tereza Jorge Pádua,
Former Director, Brazil's National Parks
More Information: Wikipedia (as ever!)
Tot: 0.16s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 11; qc: 34; dbt: 0.0303s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.2mb