Finally, it was my turn to go to the Pantanal. I had missed two opportunities earlier in the year due primarily to my fractured tibia and ankle bone which rendered the journey unsafe and impractical. So wait I did, patiently while other volunteers ventured out to see the largest wetlands in the world. Yes, my time had come and I was ready to see if the Pantanal lived up to its reputation. And it did, offering so much more. I must confess that it is not for the tame at heart or those who go green at long. boat journeys.
But then you may consider that to be a small price to pay when compared to spotting an alligator or two, catching a piranha for dinner, discovering birds so large you may think of Pterodactylus, and if you are lucky enough you might even get to see an anaconda. In a nutshell, that is the Pantanal´s wild side.
But there is more, the human element. I was so blessed to have spent two nights with a local farming family whose pace and quality of life inspired me anew and resonated with my contemplative side which longs for a slower pace of life, simplicity and periods of solitude. On arriving, I had joked about sleeping in a ´hede´ and to my surprised at bedtime, our hosts produced a hammock so I could sleep under the most magnificent starry sky I have ever seen. While I consider myself to be a huge fan of nature, without doubt, the highlight, actually that should be pluralised, the highlights of my experience in the Pantanal was the time spent with the farming community – playing guitar late into the night accompanying the host on the concertina, while throwing back rounds of local pinga and capirinhas: sitting around the fire at 5.30 next morning sharing in the communal cup of hot herbal mate tea; joining in and providing music at the baptismal mass celebration of six babies; receiving the sacrament of reconciliation in this Garden of Eden; being in fellowship with several other farming families who traveled for hours to join us in the mass celebration and festa.
- The Pantanal (presurfer.blogspot.com)
- Pantanal (jwaten.wordpress.com)
- TRAVEL: Brazil’s ‘Other Amazon’ – The Pantanal! (davidmixner.com)
- Tamanduá bandeira, Pantanal, Brasil (blogcamilafelix.wordpress.com)