Saturday, July 26, 2014


Yep. The good old overnight bus.
Okay, they suck.

Thanks to the overnight bus last Saturday night, I'm STILL sick. Yep.
Had a cold the first day (because this lady was coughing on the bus
all night... pointing herself right at the row of seats I was in.
Really? COVER YOUR MOUTH). The cold has turned to bronchitis and I'm
hacking up phlegm on a regular basis. And naturally that stopped me
from doing anything fun, right?...

No way.

I traveled 22 hours to get to the Pantanal. And then another 5 to get
to Bonito. There's no way I'm going to skip out on things I've been
looking forward too.

So I've sucked it up, and rallied. I've visited the pharmacy here in
Bonito three times, and even though they don't speak English I was
able to get some stuff to help. And just now I started taking some
Antibiotics thanks to a nurses recommendation. If all goes well, I'll
be feeling better shortly.

As for activities...

The Pantanal is a large swampy grassland area the size of England.
Yep. England. On the western edge of Brazil. (It's also in Paraguay
and Bolivia, since, you know, Nature doesn't care about where our
borders are. :)

The purpose of a visit here is to see wildlife. Camen's. Birds of all
colors. (Some that were nearly extinct and have been reintegrated).
Piranha's. And, if you are lucky, Jaguars. (I was not lucky in that
respect). But it was fun and relaxing. I was at a Pousada (Kinda of a
Safari camp, but permanent) called Santa Clara. It's well run, has
good food, and regular tours throughout the day. (All included in the
day price). Due to my being the only 2 night person in the dorms at
that time, I was sort of forgotten about and not shown a lot of how
the place worked. But I made sure to not miss any of my activities.
The first being a night safari that left without me, so they drove me
at break-neck speed down dirt roads in the dark to catch the truck. It
was actually more fun than the night Safari. :)

The next day had a peaceful horseback ride, a peaceful swamp walk
safari, a peaceful boat ride. Basically the whole thing is really
peaceful. Wish I'd felt 100%.

And even though wildlife was the theory, I didn't feel overwhealmed by
it. But the domestic pigs in the compound that acted like dogs were
great. They even barked!

Met some cool travelers. It's been really fun, because the
Pantanal/Bonito circuit is something many people do. So folks from the
Pantanal have shown up all over Bonito, and it's allowed for some
actual traveling friendships which is nice.

Folks from Nepal, Holland, Germany, USA, Colombia, Australia, Brazil,
Brazil and Brazil.

Yep, unlike anyplace I've ever been, well over half the travelers are
actually Brazillian. Which is super fun. It's let me get to the know
the coutry a lot better. (I was told by one couple that 10 years ago
you wouldn't have seen so many Brazilian's. But the economy has been
great, and there has been a general philosophy change in the country
that travel, both within and outside of the country is very valuable
and worth doing. It's great to see.) A lot of the folks are from Sao
Paolo (Brazil's New York), but by no means all of them. They come from
big towns and small, near and far (mostly far, it's Brazil. It's
huge). It's been great. I've learned Samba dancing, various cultural
and historical things, etc.

A quick note on the food:
Brazilian food...
Burgers, Fries, Chicken, Burgers with cheese, Burgers with egg, Burgers with...
It's weird. For the first week I would have thought the whole place
ate American food. That has changed more as I've traveled more. But I
can tell you, meat is a part of nearly every meal. Which of course is
great for me, but would make it a bit tough for my Vegan friends.
Still, Pray-esh, from Nepal, is vegatarian, and he has made it work

So eat up!

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