The following morning we were up and feeling a little sad that our time in the Pantanal was almost over. After brekko we wandered over to find our steeds for the morning - a bunch of skinny, fly-ridden horses, underfed due to the flooding. It was clear that they were not given much extra food and we all felt bad and wished we had brought something over for them from the Posada. Lisa had told Marcelo that Ian likes riding the little ones (referencing unlucky yet hilarious occasions in Banos and Tupiza when Ian got given little ponies to ride, check out the photos) but he forgot (unfortunately for us!) and so for once Ian was riding a medium sized horse, called Snow White (can’t all be perfect hehehe!). Lisa got the broken one, Troncho, who had been born with a parasitic ear causing it to curl inwards. It also had big bite chunks on its rump poor thing. But off we went, plodding one after the other, typical horse tour styles, although Lisa managed to get Troncho going and had a bit of a trot for a while. We then veered off the track into a flooded field with the
water up to the horse’s chest. Troncho didn’t want to go in though and so Lisa fought with him for a while until he finally relented. The reason we were pounding through deep water was to miss passing a dead horse on the track that had died from starvation due to the flooding – we could smell it as we approached and Marcelo thought we would prefer not to see a rotting horse carcass…and he was right. We came back on to the track with wet feet which soon dried off in the boiling sunshine. We carried on down a bigger road, with a little dog running after its owner in a car, and a blind horse following us for a while, all the time spotting more and more wildlife – deer, birds, water buffalo and jaiburu. Had a bit of a canter on the way back which provided a welcome relief from the midges and although it had been super fun, we all realised how desperate the situation is there and how the water needs to start receding so these horses and all the other animals can feed again.
We walked back this time through water up to
Troncho, the one eared beauty
our shoulders, before showering and packing, grabbing a quick bite to eat and taking some last minute photos of the Posada. We sat down with Marcelo to make a note of the things we had seen and then headed out to the tractor that was going to take us to our jeep. We all climbed up into the back of the trailer, said our goodbyes and tractored off to the bridge of no return on a bumpy and bug covered ride. We swapped trailer for jeep at some point and watched the world go by, this time seeing a dead cow at the side of the road and massive bird’s nests made up high in the electricity pylons.
We got dropped of at the road side again and told to wait for our driver. The heat was almost unbearable and so we sat in the roadside shack drinking cold drinks, getting more bored and irritated as time went on. Over an hour later we were picked up, only to be told that Gil hadn’t managed to get our bus tickets to Foz as he said they had sold out. This was a blatant lie as he had had 4
Rhonda and her ride
days to do it and must have left it to the last minute to try. We knew that we probably wouldn’t make it back to Campo Grande that night for a bus to Foz, especially now we were running so late, and we just hoped we could get one out later that night or in the morning. Our luck must have been changing as we all also missed a giant ant eater crossing the road on the way back. Damn! However,the clear skies and lack of city lights meant that stars were amazing, as was the second helping of pao de queijo at Miranda!
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