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Erin’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 28 Feb 2009

Location: Free Camping to the Pantenal, Brazil

MapFREE CAMPING 28 Feb – 01 March 2009

The next morning we got up and started our drive day to get to the Pantenal and we had 2 nights of free camping which is basically where we have to find a petrol station and set up camp there for the night – they can be nice but they can be horrible – we are lucky if we get toilets basically!!

Luckily we got a really nice petrol station with really nice toilets and a big shop so we were thinking it would be pretty sweet if we always got to stay in nice places!!!

The drive days and free camps are pretty standard really, don’t worry I wont write every little detail from now on – I just wanted to say about the first couple of free camps as they were the most interesting as we hadn’t done it before!!

We set up our tents in long grass which was covered in ants – not like ants in England – these ants are massive and bite you – put it this way – when you get bitten by a mozzie chances are you wont even know it is there until the bite starts itching – when you get an ant bite – you know about it – it is painful!! Little buggars!! Thankfully Deet deters them but the stuff I have is horrible to put on as it is so thick and it is a gel so I just get covered in deet and everything you touch after transfers onto it as it is so strong (50%) so I spent a few days covered with transfers from my water bottle which was nice!! (sorry I have gone off on a tangent)

We were all pretty beat after the long drive day so I think we went to bed around 11 and then got up in the morning for breakfast and another drive day.

After lunch, I decided to sit up front with Owen and Logan (from here on I shall refer to them as Lowen when I talk about both of them – its soooo much easier then writing both of their names!!) and it was really cool – we just listened to whatever we wanted on our ipods and had a good chat – I met them both in Rio so want to spend time with them aswell as the rest of the group you see. And then we stopped for a break and everyone was really rowdy and happy so we all got beers and I went back to the truck (rather then the cab) and we all had a few beers (I had actually brought some rum with one of the guys Steve and we were drinking that and coke – it was the cheapest stuff in the shop and looked like liquid marmite but it tasted alright and did the job!!!) and had our first party bus – it was so awesome – literally everyone was dancing in the aisle and we all pooled our ipods together and everyone chose a song to put on so we all got to listen to our favourite music – it was great!! And it was the first time I thought – actually everyone is pretty damn fun so maybe I will be happier here – once I stop missing the guys from Swampy.

Our 2nd free camp was not quite so nice but on the plus had showers (cold) even though it was really skanky and dirty it was sooo good being able to have a shower!

I was on cook group and we had decided to make Spag Bol – I stirred basically which I was more then happy with – instead of chopping and stuff!! But we made a mistake at the end – half of us love spicy food and then you get the people that definitely don’t – and it is hard to cook for 30 people and have enough herbs to give the food flavour so Owen put some chilli sauce in it and it was a little bit too strong – even my mouth was getting a bit on fire and I love spicy food!! But it tasted pretty awesome – I’d rather have a bit of spice then blandness anyway!!

Most people went to bed quite early but a few of us star gazed for a while as it was quite dark where we were and the stars out here are immense – it surprised me that I could see orion as we have him in the northern hemisphere aswell. But I can now pick out the southern cross which is on the Australian flag. And it was just really cool – one of the guys has binoculars with him so we all had a go on them and then went to bed!!!