After a short stopover in the metropolitan Sao Paulo our journey already continued to Cuiaba. We had to wake up very early (at 3 AM) to get our flight, but everything went well and we arrived in Cuiaba punctual. We were picked up by a taxi driver which was organised by the lodge we were staying. From the airport we drove southwards to the Pantanal area with a stopover at Pocone to buy some groceries at the supermarket. Pocone is the last town before the northern Pantanal area begins and the 145km Transpantaneira dirt road starts towards the South to Porto Jofre. The Pantanal area is a huge wetlands which has almost the size of the old West German states. Most of the area is in Brazil, but it also extends to Bolivia and Paraguay. The Flora and Fauna is very diverse, there are amongst others more than 600 species of birds, more than 100 mammals, more than 200 species of fishes, endless reptiles, amphibians and insects. And this is exactly the reason why we wanted to go here, we hoped to see plenty of the native animals in the wild :-)
Currently it´s raining season, not really the best conditions to visit this place, but we are yet in South America and we didn´t want to miss out on seeing this incredible natural landscape. Already on the way from Pocone to our Lodge Pousa Alegre we saw plenty of animals, there were capybaras, deer, caimans and plenty of different bird species. When we arrived at our lodge, Luiz the landlord and also our daily tour guide welcomed us. His parcel has a size of 7000 ha, in the 1970s his father had about 5000 cows but since the 1980s they are running their lodge for tourists. From the entrance gate at the main Transpantaneira road to the lodge you have to drive 7km, unimaginably huge for European conditions. We were the only guests at this lodge because currently is low season and almost no tourists are here in this area. We had an excellent catering during our stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner was already included in the room rate. The weather was diversified, sometimes rain for a short time, sometimes for a few hours and we had also some few days sunshine without rain. Our activities here were hiking, walking, horseback ridings, a canoe tour and night safaris with a car. The horse back ridings through the deep wetlands were something special for us, we hadn´t have this experience before. We also made a daytrip by car to go further south to Porto Jofre at the end of the Transpantaneira road, but unfortunately our trip already ended half of the way because a wooden bridge collapsed and it was impossible to cross the bridge. The construction workers said it would take further one to two days to fix it.
We saw plenty of animals here, you can see the pictures under the section Dennis animal corner. Sadly it was not always possible to take pictures of all the animals, sometimes they quickly disappear when they noticed that humans are getting close or during the night time to take pictures of moving animals in the distance. But we saw during our night safaris giant anteaters, racoon, foxes, rabbits, etc.
We enjoyed our stay here very much, only the mosquitos were really annoying, but with long sleeves, trousers and mosquito nets it could be worse.
For us the Pantanal was the last destination in Brazil, we will continue our journey to Peru, our first station there will be the capital Lima. We will as usual keep you updated.