A day in Campo Grande, Gateway to the Pantanal

Trip Start Jul 06, 2007
Trip End Aug 06, 2007

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We arrived in Campo Grande ahead of schedule, around 8am.  I left Ina in the bus station and went off in search of the travel agent whom I had booked the Pantanal tour with.  Their office (Open Door Tour) is only 2 blocks from the bus station and the friendly agent directed me to a cheap hotel for the night just a block away-Turis Hotel for 48 Reais.  Itīs new, clean and convenient but no one speaks English here.  We are the only people going to the Pantanal tomorrow so the agent said we can leave anytime I want so we agreed on 7:30am. 

We went to the bus station to buy the onward tickets to Rio for the 29th.  Since there is only a small difference in price between normal busses (like last night) and "executivo", we are going business class to Rio, it is a 22 hour trip after all!

Ina and I set out to explore the town.  Campo Grande isnīt really a tourist destination, people just come here to go to the Pantanal.  Still, there is an interesting Central \Market the locals use and a couple Indiginous people have stalls set up outside for their produce.  We had brunch in a cheapie cafe and walked around the town.  I was surprised to see so many pet stores, mostly for dogs and cats but one place was selling Budgies and Cockatiels but no Brazilian species which I found pretty strange!

We walked all the way down to the large shopping mall and Carrefour supermarket and had a look around just to kill time.  They have really cute clothes here but just like Thailand, the local women here are pretty small and I wasnīt going to find anything to fit me.  I loved seeing Macaws just about everywhere!  They are painted on buses, buildings, billboards, shop logos, there is a monument to Macaws called Praca des Araras and a Macaw shaped telephone booth in the bus station! 

We bought some more bird souvenirs and had to rearrange our bags.  Then we went for dinner at the Gaucho Churrascaria just across the street from the hotel.  I really love these all you can eat buffet and BBQ places in Brazil!  Early night tonight as we want to make an early start to the Pantanal tomorrow.
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