Parati, Pantanal & Bonito
After we left Rio with the overland-truck we went to Paraty, a small but picturesque village. It took us about 5 hours to get there and I think I’ve slept for about 4,5 hours. I guess the carnival pretty much drained all my energy.
The streets of Paraty
Once in Paraty Chris manouvres our big truck into the narrow campsite. Nikki explains the tasks for the cook groups and tells us in which group we are. She also hands out the tents to the tent-buddies. I am the lucky one that doesn’t have to share the tent. I got the tent with the name “Llama” and I’m responsible for that tent during the trip. Not having a tent buddy does mean that I have to put up the tent by myself though, but everyone is helping each other so I guess I’ll be fine.
The streets of Paraty
We pretty much all stayed together in Paraty and went to beaches and on a boat trip. I also loved waking up early to go for a run and do a quick workout at this workout spot on the beach.
The boat trip from Paraty
Camping with this warm weather is something I think I will not get used to. Also having a big backpack in your tent is not the most practical thing, so every time we go camping I’ll have to decide what I want to bring from the truck and put that in a smaller bag. Luckily we will do 50% (bush)camping and 50% hostels during the trip so we’ll have some nice diversity.
Sunset in the Pantanal
After Paraty we got some long days in the truck driving to the Pantanal. This is supposed to be the world largest tropical wetland area except when we got there it wasn’t very wet because of a long dry period. Nevertheless we went on some nice foot-, jeep-, boat- ánd horse safari’s with the rangers from our hostel: Pousada Santa Clara. We saw an anaconda and some other snakes, Toucans, Parrots, Blue Macaws and Loads of other birds, loads and loads of Caimans, Monkeys, Capybaras and Collared Peccaries.
Boat safari in the Pantanal
Horse riding in the Pantanal
A Collared Peccary
A Collared Peccary
A Capybara on the riverside
Two colorful Parrots
Caimans ready for lunch
One of the coolest things was fishing for piranhas. Our ranger, Pedro, gave us a bamboo stick with a fishing line and some small pieces of chicken. We followed him to the river and as soon as we got there he just walked in. “Uhm, Pedro?! The piranhas swim in this river right?!” “Yes, but don’t worry they won’t bite us!”. So everyone who was brave enough followed Pedro into the river. Standing in the river while fishing for piranhas with a couple of caimans swimming around us was quite the experience. The piranhas we caught we’re prepared for dinner that evening.
We were standing in the river while fishing for Piranhas
The first Piranha I caught
The only bad thing about the Pantanal, was the huuuge amount of mosquitoes...loads and loads of mosquitos. I brought 3 bottles of mosquito repellent with me and I finished them all. I even had to buy a new bottle at the hostel. Oh and I don’t know what’s up with this spray bottle system but try to spray your legs with it. As soon as you turn the bottle upside down to reach your legs it won’t spray anymore, so you turn it back around and hold it like you have some kind of hand disease and spray like that.... if you don’t know what I’m talking about you should try it.
After we left the mosquitos behind, we drove further south to a small town called Bonito. We stayed in Bonito Hi|Hostel. There’s not a lot to Bonito; it’s just a small town with one main street where all the shops and restaurants are. The reason why most tourists visit Bonito is because of all the river activities.
We chose to snorkel in the very clear and shallow river. The best thing about the whole activity was the lunch buffet after. The chicken was perfect and they had this big pan with dulce de leche where you could scrape the last bits out of with a spoon, just delicious!
The snorkling group in Bonito
The last day in Bonito was a sunday and everything was closed so we just relaxed by the pool. For dinner we walked into town and tried caiman meat. It actually tasted a bit like chicken but the structure was a bit different. After dinner we got our bags ready to go back on the truck early in the morning. On to our next stop; the Iguazu Falls!!
Hi | Hostel Bonito