The Pantanal & Chapada dos Guimarães

Trip Start Jul 02, 2009
Trip End Jun 28, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , Mato Grosso,
Sunday, July 12, 2009

I went to Cuiabá to visit the Pantanal and Chapada dos Guimarães.  I'd visited the Pantanal from Corumbá en route to Bolivia back in 1985 so I thought why not try something different this time round. Cuiabá is hot, sticky and not the sort of place that visitors would want to spend much time.  I needed to pay for my tour with cash and actually extracting cash from the ATM proved to be a bit of a trial, not least because the ATMs were not all equivalent and there was nothing to indicate the one (I believe there was only one) that I needed to use.

The Pantanal was touristy and busy because of school holidays but was still well worth doing. The first afternoon feature was an excellent boat cruise on which we saw a large jacaré, an otter and plenty of the typical Pantanal avifauna.  The night safari started slowly (fleeting glimpse of a fox in the searchlight) but just kept getting better.  Highlight was a mother jacaré leading her babies across the Transpananeira and we got to see an anteater and tapir on the drive back.

The next day was horse-riding which represented yet another blown photo-opportunity, this time because I was really worried (I don't particularly like horses) about dropping the camera in the flooded fields that we were riding through.

A significant portion of the Chapada dos Guimarães park was closed for maintenance although Andre, our guide made sure that we saw lots of cool stuff anway. For the anoraks, there is a stone that marks the centre of the South American continent and the altitude means that it's much less sticky than the Pantanal. 


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