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Aiden’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 12 Jul 2006

Location: Bonito, Brazil

MapWell, Bonito was definitely bonito. For those without the know, bonito is beautiful is portugese, (and spanish for that matter).
After a quick plane flight (refer to the previous entry, for the interpretation of `applying the cat,´ as when we arrived at the São Paulo airport with exactly that situation. HUGE amounts of cat were applied... Leo for president), and a long bus ride, we arrived in Bonito late on the Saturday night. We checked into the YHA hostel and set out into town for dinner... i dont think i have ever felt more like a tourist.. and either did Leo!! A local June party was on (in July... mmmm yeh) and all people in town were out and about.
After those quiet beers, and we prepared ourselves for the loveliness of Bonito, and we were far from disappointed.
Rio Sucuri (Snake River) and Rio Prata (Silver River) were two `floats´ that were right through the wildlife of alligators, millions of fish and marine river wildlife... the water was bloody cold, but the differece in temperature was made up in beauty, with all the colours of the rainbow available for us to see underwater with the help of our goggles. We werent lucky enough to see any anacondas, but HUGE amounts of fish, more than I have ever seen before, were swimming passed side by side less than 10 cm from my mask.... certainlya feeling i wont forget easily. Also another feeling was that of finding an alligator in the water whilst snorkling and then being less than 3m from it... not bad i reckon, Steve Irwin would be proud.
However, the 2 highlights of the trip were the Anhumas Abismo and my first scuba experience.
Firstly the Anhumas Abismo and it involved a 72 m decent into a deep underground cave, where you are able to snorkle and view the stomatolites formations below the water surface. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. One of the most thrilling and amazing things i have ever seen. The water was freeing cold, but the beauty underwater was heartstopping. I could here David Attenborough commentating in the background, `and here, in the deep dark undergound of South Brasil, lies the stomatolites. High as 18m they are the largest in the entire world.....´ The cave was eeriely quiet and the beauty above water was easily matched and overtaken underneath the water. After 20 min of snorkling, hypothermia set in, but in quickly stopped by the 72m rope climb back up to the top of the cave. Ripper!
Secondly, our first scuba experience sort of happened by chance. Apparently you dont need a scuba licence to go scuba diving in Bonito... well, it was only in a river, (Rio Formoso) so not much could go wrong. If we were fulltime scuba divers, we would probably be disappointed, but for Leo and I, it was absolutely awesome. Being able to stay underneath the water and swim with the fishes and look up a flowing waterfall was something else.
Lastly but not least, we met some ripper people at the youth hostel and we wish them all the best with there travels.
Bronwyn- hope the vegemite goes a long way til you get back to South Africa.
Rob and Helena- will be seeing you soon in AUS, when you come travelling here, and WHEN AUS wins back the ashes in the cricket!!
Ohhhhh.... also. Here in Bonito, there is a policy. That is, not to flush the toilet paper down the toilet... yes, thats right. NOT TO FLUSH TOILET PAPER DOWN THE TOILET. Ok, that took a little getting use to, and some paper did find its way there via habit. But I had to call Leo in to make sure the translation was correct, and that the sign above the toilet wasnt joking. It really needs after the `Please do not flush paper down the toilet. Use the basket to the side,´ a SERIOUSLY, underneath. I can see Rulas face right now....
Well, I better get to the Pantanal.... those alligators are waiting for me!!!