The River Runs Wild!

Trip Start Mar 01, 2011
Trip End Jun 12, 2011

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Where I stayed
Santa Clara

Flag of Brazil  , State of Mato Grosso,
Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We set off for Brazil on Monday evening, on another overnight bus and thankfully our last through Bolivia! We arrived at the border about 6am and waited for immigration to open at 8.00am. There was already a queue of people waiting there, mostly Bolivians. Once we had our stamp (9.00am) we walked across to the Brazilian side where we were greeted with another massive queue which barely moved. At 11.00 the office closed for lunch and as there was no shops or anything on the Brazilian side we had to keep crossing back and forth to the Bolivian side which was kind of weird as we did it with ease. Nobody looked twice or checked any of our documents. We were fortunate to have met a British couple who were happy to wait with our bags in the queue so we didn’t have to carry them and we didn’t lose our all important spot in the queue! During our time there, the police showed up and requested that we all lay our bags out flat in the centre of the circle whilst the sniffer dog , perused them, all the while the police were taking photos of suspicions looking individuals, (us included) with pump action shotguns in hand! Scary to say the least. We finally received our stamps at 4.00pm, an hour before closing time and the queue was still growing. Once across the border we took a bus to Corumba bus terminal where at 11.30pm we boarded a bus to Campo Grande. At around 12.30, I was rudely awoken by a police prodding at my shoulder telling me to wake Luke up and get off the bus with our bags. We were then asked to line up, men on one side and women on another where we were searched. For the women it was a look over but for the men it was a full body search include a fondle (if you know what I mean, lol) Luke hopes it’s the last time he has his balls felt at gunpoint! hehe.

Once at Campo Grande we arranged our tour to the Pantanal. Once again we were fortunate enough to have a good group with a good mix of people. Our journey there was quite amusing due to high floods. We commenced in a truck then had to changed into a boat as the bridge had collapsed then back on to another truck that kept getting bogged in and had to be towed out by a tractor before finishing in another boat. Water surrounded the accommodation site where normally it is quite dry but it didn’t dampen our time there. The following morning we went horseback riding through the Pantanal and saw all types of wildlife from maned wolves to caimans! After lunch we went tubing through the floods which was good fun. Over the next couple of days we did loads of walks and boat trips and wading in water seeing loads of wildlife and birds (check out the pics) in the process and had a really good time. On our last morning before leaving we went piranha fishing in, surprisingly or not, the same flood water we had been tubing in a few days before! Reassuringly we didn’t catch anything but I did have a few bites, and not just from mosquitos!

After a rather long (24 hour arrgghhh) bus ride we are now in Rio ready for some samba and beach action!
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