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Erin’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 01 Mar 2009

Location: The Pantenal, Brazil


We drove the rest of the way to the Pantenal which is the largest wetland in the world – it was an “optional” excursion that we basically had to do – 300 Reals which is around £100 for 2 nights on a farm and one night at the lodge with all food included and horse riding and a bush walk.

We got there and I have never been so sweaty in my life – Parati was pretty damn bad as it was sooo humid but this was worse – much worse – and as soon as you put sunscreen on it melts and the horrible thick deet that I have did exactly the same thing so it was just horrible! Thankfully I wasn’t the only one – quite a few people have had trouble with the heat over here – it is not dry it is wet and muggy and horrible!!

So anyway – we had to get our stuff together and walk to the lodge for lunch, I was so unhappy due to the sweat and just wanted to curl up somewhere cool and go to sleep!! No such luck though!! On the bonus the food was pretty nice – it was just a buffet but had veg and spag bol and mashed pots so it was ok.

I had started to take malaria tablets so I took one after lunch and then felt really faint and horrible, I got a bit upset because I didn’t know why but it only lasted about 20 mins and then passed – thankfully I got used to the malaria tabs so that only happened once more!

After lunch we walked back to where the truck was parked to catch the transfer to the farm. Now for some reason I had got in a really good mood and we were all very excitable so just laughed quite a lot and then we decided to get beer and get a little bit on it – I shared a 12 pack with Steve and Travis (should have got way more but we were a bit short of cash and didn’t know how much we would need) and got some Agua aswell! (mucho needed in the heat).

So we got to the farm and got shown around and found out that we were all together in a dorm of Hammocks – so me, Steve, Travis, Pete and Lisa decided to go right to the end and a bit away from everyone!! I was actually quite looking forward to sleeping in the hammocks. We had a few hours to chill out before dinner so we just lazed around and had showers and did some washing – boring things like that – some people played football but we just chilled and chatted!!!

We went for dinner and it was spag bol, some sort of rice and meat concoction, refried beans and salad, it was pretty good!!

After dinner we sat around chatting for a while and went to bed!! I actually really liked sleeping in the hammocks – it was a lot cooler at night so only used sleeping bag liner and slept in shorts and a vest! The motion of the hammocks is actually really relaxing – I could probably sleep in hammocks for ever its soooo relaxing so I went to sleep pretty soon after going to bed!!!

The next day there was either a bush walk in the morning and then a horse ride in the afternoon or the other way round so we decided to go on the bush walk first.

I don’t have many positive things to say about the walk, there is one person in our group who Is soooooo loud and complains about everything – it was getting to the point that it was like – we are ALL really hot, sweaty and getting covered with mosquito bites – the more you bring it up the more annoyed we are all getting and just shut up basically!!! So to drown her out and also to ignore how sweaty and covered in Mozzies we were I had a chat with Steve and Travis about films and then me and Steve spent about an hour talking about New Zealand as he had just come from there. It was so much better just chatting about stuff then moaning about things that are out of our control!!

After the draining walk we had the rest of the day to kill so had a lie down and a bit of a nap before lunch and then I sat chatting to Steve, Travis and Pete for ages – felt quite discluded from the rest of the goup but really wasn’t in the mood to have semi-forced conversations with anyone and the 4 of us get on really well so its just nice and easy!!

At 4 we got kitted out for horse riding – I haven’t been riding for 13 years so I was pretty worried but I got on the horse fine and it felt quite natural again! Unfortunately a storm was brewing so half of us were on the horses when a massive clap of thunder happened and it freaked them out quite a lot – thankfully none of them bolted or did anything really bad but it was a bit worrying as they were all really on edge for ages after!!

The horse ride was sooo funny, I was on one of the owners horses and she was beautiful, really frisky and kept wanting to go faster!! She made it to the front (where Max her owner was) and there were a couple of other horses trying to get past her – I have never laughed on horse so much!! She kept veering to the side when they tried to overtake her for about 15 minutes, I wasn’t doing anything and she kept doing it – it was sooo funny for me, Pete and Lisa (who were on the horses trying to overtake).

We saw the most amazing sunset which was pretty sweet as I love sunsets (which I think I have mentioned previously!!) and went back to the lodge for dinner!!

After dinner we all went to a big wooden gazebo and chilled out and chatted for hours – went to bed about 2 I think – we weren’t even really drinking just chatting so that was cool but when I got back to bed I had loads of mites in my hammock – damn horses – I was very annoyed but found out they were harmless and I thought screw it they wont bite so im just gonna go to sleep!!

We left quite early – around 9ish to go back to the lodge in time for lunch. And to sort out our rooms – finally got a room to sleep in instead of the tent or hammocks!!

I sat in Lowen and Vals room chatting to them for a bit and finding out what Logan had been up to as he hadn’t been to the farm – turns out he had an awesome time and swampy were there the night before and had a party to celebrate one of the girls birthdays – I so wish I had just stayed at the lodge rather then go to the farm but at least I got to go to the pantenal I guess!!

Anyway I chilled out for a bit with them and then got ready for dinner – I have to say it was sooooooooooo nice getting dressed up and looking nice again, I hadn’t looked nice since Rio! I did a couple of the girls make ups aswell so that was great as we all know I love doing make up. And then we went for dinner and had a few drinks – we had a bit of a party at one of the rooms and it was really cool all hanging out and chatting loads.

Needless to say we were all pretty hungover when we got up in the morning and we just chilled on the truck.

We made a stop in a pretty town called Miranda for a while so the boys could do a food shop and we could get money out if need be.

And then we were on our way to Bonito (which means Beautiful in Portuguese)