Wetlands

Pantanal Travel Blog

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Sight seeing on the river

The Pantanal is the world´s largest wetland area covering about 150,000 square kilometers.  Upon arrival we to a guided boat tour.  Along the way we saw hundred of caiman which could be confused with a crocodile, a few Capybara which at 150 pounds make them the largest rodents in the world, three giant otters which are the top fishers in the rivers but are now high on the endangered list, and too many birds to list. I was surprised how close they brought the boats to the Caimans.  I was able to take some pictures so close they were just eyeballs.  The river tour was a pleasant surprise because I wasn´t expecting to see so much wildlife.

We spent three nights in a camp in the middle of the pantanal where we all slept in a giant netted room full of hammocks.

Caiman
  There were four main activities that we all had a chance to experience.  The Piranha fishing was quite a bit different than any other fishing I had done before.  You get a long bamboo pole with a string tied too the end with no real.  The other end was a single barbed hook with raw beef as bait.  There were thousands of them brushing passed our legs as we walked across the muddy base with water up to our waist and dozens of caiman staring us down only a few meters away.  They were quite clever, and 9 times out of 10 the bait was gone in a few seconds with no fishy on the end of the line.  We did manage to catch about 40 in a few hours which made for a nice fish fry back at camp.

The nature walk was a bit of a disappointment because it was so hot that we cut things short and our group did not get to see as much as the other groups.

Pirana fishing
  We just saw more caiman, and birds, others got to see monkeys and giant armadillos.  I thought the best part was the forrest itself and seeing the roots that climb up the trees.

Horse riding was pretty average for the first hour and a half.  We had already done the nature walk so the scenery was more of the same.  I have been riding a few times so a slow walk through the park was not all that entertaining for me although my horse was the most responsive one that I had ever been on which was nice.  The last 20 minutes was a whole nother story.  I have been galloping before but never quite like this.  These horses were really fast and they let us go for long stretches at a time.  It was pretty scary at some point when givin her at full speed and the trees encroached on the pathway which you had to dodge and weave to avoid the branches.

Rooty tree
  It was a blast.

The last activity if you want to call it that was jewelry making.  This was more just something to do to kill some time in the heat of mid day.  They showed us how to strip the reeds to remove the fibers so we could make our own string.  The centerpieces of are swirling knotted necklaces were slices of small coconuts.  I was the first to be able to do all of the steps without assistance.  I think it looks pretty good around Kath´s neck.

The only other noteworthy experience in the Pantanal was caiman hunting at night.  Our guide max took us out under the moonlight to catch one.  He sent out aussie truck driver steve into the pond to shine his light in the lizards eyes to distract him while he snuck up from behind and pounced.  A little splashing and trashing later they came over with the.... smallest caiman I had ever seen.  We were all expecting them to bring in a big one but this was like a big toad.  It was a fun night none the less.

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Sight seeing on the river
Sight seeing on the river
Caiman
Caiman
Pirana fishing
Pirana fishing
Rooty tree
Rooty tree
Largest roadent in the world
Largest roadent in the world
Going Fishing
Going Fishing
Kath chillin
Kath chillin
Aussie ass hole ready to ride
Aussie ass hole ready to ride
Pantanal
photo by: Sads79