Brazil

Brazil

2016 

So, back to Brazil, for the 3rd time. This part of the trip was in 2 sections with a sweep through Party, Itatiaia, Brasilia and Belem before the Guyanas, followed by a coastal return taking in Natal, Salvador, Pati Valley and back to Paraty before returning to the UK. After the Falklands and Chile we needed some beach and downtime and this need also coincided with Rob’s preparation for ending his epic trip, so Paraty was a great place to meet-up. We also managed to fit in a 3 day kayak expedition and a first go on a paddle board, which left me thinking “what’s the point?”. 3 times the effort of a kayak, and about 1/10th the fun.

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Having said oour goodbyes we headed inland to a National Park called Itatiaia, Brazil’s first. Now, the immediate think to note for Brazil is that the language is Portuguese, not Spanish. To be frank it is a really difficult language to grasp but you have to, to get by. Access to the park by public transport (bus) is limited so trips have to be well planned, but there are some well-marked trails to waterfalls and the birding is good. Plenty of monkeys, and the odd snake. Nearby the town of Itatiaia is a bizarre Finnish town called Penedo; well worth a visit.

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From Itatiaia, after a particularly troublesome bus/flight route we arrived in Brasilia, the capital and architectural gem. Purpose built it seems to be a ginat thunderbirds set. This building is the museum (see others in the photo album). Visually stunning.

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The flight to Guyana left from Belem, so we headed there (raining hard). Our return flight landed at 4.30 so we slept on benches in the airport ready for our 10.30 flight onto Fortaleza, from where we caught a coach to Natal, and a taxi to our hotel in Ponte Negra. (phew!). Beachtime here was a real laught with the amount of goods being sold by casual sellers. Food, drink, beach-related stuff you expect, but wicker baskets, carpets, giant money-boxes. Well…. 

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After soaking up the sun in Natal, we moved onto more of the same in Salvador before heading inland to trek the Pati Valley. Four days of rewarding, but flipping tough walking. Some really steep climbs. On the photo below, we had climbed to the very top of the big rock the previous day.

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By now, getting well fed-up with the language we decamped to Paraty, via Rio, for the last few days. Only excitement was a day’s horse-riding where I got a horse that was basically gearing up for the Grand National. 7 hours in the saddle with a spot of fishing for lunch (successful) before we headed back to Sao Paolo for our flight home. 

2013 

A long planned visit to the Pantanal area of Brazil to look for jaguars and anything else that was around. We started with a couple of days in Rio to see the sights before heading to Sao Paolo to join our safari group. We saw 5 different jaguars over the 4 days we were onsite, including this couple. The male has been radio tagged.

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A long time aim for me was for Hyacinth Macaws and the locations certainly didn't disappoint with plenty of sightings.

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Giant River Otters at 2m really were giant. We saw 4 separate families of up to 6 individuals. 

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See more Brazil here

2003

We were not able, in any way, to do justice to Brazil and will definitely be back. We experienced the cool feeling of walking into Brazil on a bridge from Paraguay. All the immigration officials were nice and had no problem understanding my Spanish. We were literally in Brazil just to see Iguaçu Falls before moving into Argentina. The falls were fantastic probably the best in the world and we spent quite a while looking at them in awe. Additionally there is plentiful wildlife around especially butterflies. In Foz, the town, we had our first experience of the eat all you can meat feasts. It was incredible with a limitless supply of fine meats all for $8. Fantastic. Unbelievably, the following night we found one that specialised in pizzas. All you could eat with guys wandering round with various flavoured pizzas. When they saw that you were flagging they brought, wait for it, sweet pizzas covered in chocolate, smarties and other sweets. 

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Just outside the falls park is a really good bird park featuring some of the species you are likely to see in the area. This bird is the Toco Toucan which Guinness used in their stout adverts. We were to see some of these wild in the next few days. 

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Coatis roam the areas around the Falls, looking for tourists to feed them. 

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© Paul Hyland 2012