I am going to open this little post by starting with TODAY WAS FANTASTIC! I had an average sleep BUT from the second we both woke up at 5.30am we both felt amazing. No more illness and back to 100% - which is necessary as today we were off on an all-day safari.
We managed to much down a delicious breakfast and even make a packed lunch of snacks for the journey as we wouldn’t be back till around 5pm. From the second we left our room today it was as if nature was on our side. Right outside our room was 2 big, beautiful blue parrots (the one from the film Rio). They are endemic to this part of Brazil and apparently really rare and we saw 2…just sitting outside our room!
Next, we hopped in the safari van and started out day. We are told from the get go, this is the start of the safari, from now on keep your eyes peeled as there is wildlife to be spotted everywhere. Instant excitement! Our guide Sandro is a gem – he has been our guide since arriving and he has self-taught himself English from the tourists who visit the lodge…amazing human. On the journey to the 2 hour hike, we spotted caimans, capybara, eagles, hawks and various other tropical birds including my fav the toucan. Upon arrival at the hike, we were informed it would take around 2 hours which was fine…but the heat sun was high in the sky and the mosquito's were in full terrorist mode already. Even then, we were both mega keen and couldn’t wait to spot more wildlife.
have to admit, it was bloody hot, and the mosquitoes here are ruthless pricks…they will literally bite through layers of clothes even when you smother yourself in repellent. I dread to look ay myself tomorrow. About an hour in, we had spotted howler monkeys high in the trees, a few other birds but nothing to write home about. After we were on our way back, I had already put my camera back in my back when a whole family of coati stopped us in our tracks all staring down at us. The best way to describe these guys are like small tree badger with the most beautiful of faces. I was so happy and snapped about 100 photos of them while the boys stood back watching my sheer excitement.
We could have gone home from there as I was done, but the next stop was lunch. Now, this would have been a standard 10/10 days for sure, but I am going to give it a solid 8 and this is why. It took 1 hour to get to the lunch destination where the guide and driver were going to cook for us. Upon arrival we were told to hang fire and explore for 1 hour while they cook – BUT it was the side of the road and in 35-degree heat. The three of us looked at each other in disbelief as we couldn’t wander for 1 hour…we would die. I ended up playing games on my phone under a tree and taking a nap. When lunch was served it was great, really lovely but I found the experience tainted as for the 1 hour it wasn’t well organised in the slightest.
On the way home, the magic happened! Not only were we giving front row seats to an amazing array of caimans littered all over the side of the roads, but then it happened. All of a sudden, we were told ‘HOLD ON’ and we sped into the distance. Sandro has spotted something up ahead… IT WAS A JAGUAR! Thee most rarest of all mammals in the Brazilian Pantanal and we had just spotted one. Even got to take a few (pretty blurry and not my finest work by far) happy snaps. Leo got a great video, but we were too engrossed with being in the moment and witnessing such a majestic beast.
What a bloody amazing day, really. We have been spoilt in Galapagos as wildlife was literally at our fingers tips, no need to search for it as there are no predators there, but here – filled with predators we have to look a little harder and that’s what made it 100% worth it.