There Will Be No Plan 'B' Today

Trip Start Jul 28, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Mato Grosso,
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This is the first time we book a hotel for the night in advance of getting to a destination. Oddly enough it follows a day where we had to go to Plan C.  We must be getting cocky, because we even secured the room with a credit card. 

Leaving Ji Parana, Cathryn is reminded of Iowa.  It is a rural community dependent on corn, soybeans and cattle for its economy.  The landscape below is a patchwork of family farms.  Only this is not Iowa and as we fly on the landscape evolves back into its native rainforest, with only occasional fields.  Then abruptly the forest below has been cleared for super large agri-business fields. 

Our destination, Cuiba is the hottest city in Brazil and unfortunately this does not refer to its nightlife.  Two hours into the flight the topography below becomes more arid with scrub growing instead of the lush rainforest.  The presence of small streams punctuates the drab landscape with meandering rows of brilliantly green trees.  Giant agri-farms with brown fallow fields begin to dominate the landscape.  We presume they were recently harvested and will be planted in advance of the rainy season.  

Along the flight high plateaus will abruptly fall several hundred feet to another level. 75 miles out from Ciuba the ground below becomes more verdant and the fields a more manageable size plus small communities dot the horizon. 

Then 50 miles out it changes.  We are treated to an extraordinary topographical phenomenon -- a series of very pronounced parallel A-shaped ridges with narrow flat valleys in between.  We speculate that they are the result of seismic activity.  Regardless of the origin, they are spectacularly beautiful.

With our arrival in Ciuba we are rewarded for our belief in Plan A.  We have a hotel to which to go.  It is a class 'A' hotel and it was booked at a good discount!  Life is good!  Tomorrow we have breakfast at 6 to get an early start on the challenges of getting in to Bolivia.
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