Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pantanal Day 2

Today we were woken up at about 6am by what can only be described as the sound of loads of people belching very loudly. It turns out that the howler monkeys that live in the trees above our hammocks wake up every day at this time, so we're not too hopeful about getting many lie in's here!

Our guide, Carlos, comes in and makes sure we're all awake and after a bit of brekkie we're off walking into the jungle. On the way we see Cotimundi's (related to racoons), Tucans, Hawks, Vultures, Caiman's (alligators) and a host of other animals. Its extremely hot and when walking through the trees we're all just dripping sweat with the humidity.

After about 4 hours walking through plains and jungle we go back to the camp to have lunch at about 11am. Our guide tells us that its 33 degrees at 10am...pretty hot for our Irish skin!

We have bean stew for lunch (bean everything is pretty big in Brazil) and go for a rest in the hammocks to get out of the midday sun. Everyone's sleep is pretty restless because of the heat and we're all woken finally by Dom's loud fart, which even manages to wake him!

The afternoon was soo hot and we didn't start walking again until 3pm as Carlos told us it was too hot to be out in. After about 30 mins walking Elaine starts to feel physically sick with the heat and we all take a break in the shade.

After walking for a bit more we come across a lake with alligators in it where we could swim. Carlos calls some of us over and lets us touch the back of the alligators. Elaine got a good photo so I've got proof!

On the way back we stopped for 20 mins to watch the sunset which was really beautiful and then back to camp for dinner.

After dinner, when it was completely pitch black Carlos took us out to the lake beside the camp to look for alligators. He had a torch to find them as their eyes glow red under the light - not menacing at all!

All of a sudden Carlos was in a sprint into the water, plunged his hands in and took out a struggling baby alligator about 4 foot long. He brought it back to the path and we were all looking at it when he put it on the ground, upside down, held it tightly and started scratching and rubbing its belly. He told us all to be quiet. After about 5 minutes of doing this he let go and its legs just went limp and it was still. He'd put it to sleep! Carlos rocks!

Back to camp for a chat around the campfire and then off to bed. We tried to go to bed a little earlier at all light in the camp went out at 11 and it was really pitch black without them. I was off brushing my teeth when the lights went out and I hear Elaine screaming at the hammocks!

It turns out that a bat had made its way into our hammock hut and had been swooping around Elaine. She started screaming when the light went out! Not to worry though, it made its way out of the hut and that was the end of the drama for the night...

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