A Travellerspoint blog

September 2018

Salvador, Bahia - Part 1 (23-26/9/2018)

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Max 28 °C Min 24 °C Sunrise 05h30 Sunset 17h40

Just a short walk across the road from our hotel for the early morning flights to Salvador via Brasilia. We arrived in Salvador early afternoon, then taxi to our lodging (Mansao Villa Verde) in the Barra district, where we had stayed 10 years ago. We are spending 3 nights here, then off inland to Lencois by bus, then returning for another 3 nights before heading south.

Salvador is the third largest city in Brazil and the most exciting! We started our previous trip round South America in Salvador and certainly wanted to revisit this time (whereas we are missing out Rio!). The population is 80% of black african descent and consequently the atmosphere is lively, the cooking much spicier than the regular Brazilian fare, and there is a vibrant music scene.

Barra is the ideal area to stay with the sea close by, lots of eating places, supermarkets etc and has easy access by bus to the historic centre of Salvador and other places of interest. Mansao Villa Verde is a pleasant place to stay, very tastefully decorated and furnished, and we have our own kitchenette. It is just 5 minutes walk from the sea.

After installing ourselves and visiting a supermarket close by and picking up some provisions for our breakfasts etc we headed out to rediscover the area down by the sea, which covers three beach areas and a charismatic lighthouse/fort (Farol do Barra) and the Porto da Barra area where we later rediscovered the restaurant we had used 10 years before (Portal do Mar). It turned out to provide very tasty food and was good value so we went there practically every night during our six nights in Salvador.

For the most part, getting round Salvador (when NOT with baggage!) was by bus. They use the turnstyle system but the buses we caught were not overcrowded. We caught regular buses into the centre to visit the colourful historic centre (in particular, Pelourinho), which you can walk around easily, and took the iconic "Elavador" lift down to the port area and the Mercado Centrale (now filled with souvenir shops and restaurant areas).

Check out the photos below to get a flavour of Salvador ...

Elavador area

Square at top of Elavador

Square at top of Elavador

Elavador and view

Elavador and view

Salvador port area

Salvador port area


Salvador port area and Mercado Centrale building

Salvador port area and Mercado Centrale building

Lower town and Port

Salvador Elavador - €0.05 up/down!

Salvador Elavador - €0.05 up/down!

Salvador Port

Salvador Port

Salvador - port area

Salvador - port area

Mercado Centrale

Mercado Centrale

Mercado Centrale

Mercado Centrale

Chilled fresh coconut juice !!!

Chilled fresh coconut juice !!!

Historic Centre

Largo de Cruzeiro de Sao Francisco

Largo de Cruzeiro de Sao Francisco

Sao Salvador church

Sao Salvador church

Sao Francisco church

Sao Francisco church

Ordem Teceira de Sao Francisco Church

Ordem Teceira de Sao Francisco Church

Ordem Teceira de Sao Francisco Church

Ordem Teceira de Sao Francisco Church

Ordem Teceira de Sao Francisco Church

Ordem Teceira de Sao Francisco Church


Historic Centre

Historic Centre

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho


Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

Pelourinho

A Gravinha bar in historic centre (Beer   dose of flavoured cachaca recommended!)

A Gravinha bar in historic centre (Beer + dose of flavoured cachaca recommended!)

Our Lodging - Mansao Villa Verde

Mansao Villa Verde

Mansao Villa Verde

Our room - Mansao Villa Verde

Our room - Mansao Villa Verde

Our room (kitchen area) - Mansao Villa Verde

Our room (kitchen area) - Mansao Villa Verde

Breakfast - Granola, Mango, Milk and Yogourt - delicious

Breakfast - Granola, Mango, Milk and Yogourt - delicious

Barra District

Barra - main beach

Barra - main beach

Barra - Main beach and lighthouse

Barra - Main beach and lighthouse

Barra - Main beach

Barra - Main beach

Barra - main beach

Barra - main beach

Barra - main beach and lighthouse

Barra - main beach and lighthouse

Barra

Barra

Barra Lighthouse

Barra Lighthouse

Barra - other beach area - fresh coconut juice - delicious and refreshing

Barra - other beach area - fresh coconut juice - delicious and refreshing


Porto do Barra Beach

Porto do Barra Beach

Bahian flavours

Fish Moqueco (Lightly spiced Bahian fish stew) at Portal do Mar restaurant, Porto do Barra

Fish Moqueco (Lightly spiced Bahian fish stew) at Portal do Mar restaurant, Porto do Barra

Evening out in Rio Vermelho

Evening out in Rio Vermelho

Rio Vermelho - Dinha's Acaraje stand

Rio Vermelho - Dinha's Acaraje stand

Evening out in Rio Vermelho - Acaraje (Acarajé is made with cooked and mashed black eyed peas seasoned with salt and chopped onions molded into the shape of a large scone and deep-fried in palm oil in a wok-like pan).

Evening out in Rio Vermelho - Acaraje (Acarajé is made with cooked and mashed black eyed peas seasoned with salt and chopped onions molded into the shape of a large scone and deep-fried in palm oil in a wok-like pan).

Posted by Lindseyalan73 03:25 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Pantanal Part 2 - Pouso Alegre Lodge (20-22/9/2018)

Toucan time!

Toucan time!

Pantanal_map.jpg

We left the Jaguar Lodge after lunch with the rest of our party. We had arranged to be dropped at the Barara bar/restaurant (2.5 hours back towards Cuiaba and the only bar/restaurant on the Transpantaneira Highway). We were being picked up by Luiz, the owner of the Pouso Alegre (which is close by), where we had arranged to stay 2 nights to complete our stay in the Pantanal. It is completely different from the Jaguar Lodge, being in a much drier area, with different wildlife and we were by ourselves rather than being in a group.

Barara Bar - Transplantanaira Highway

Barara Bar - only bar/resto on Transpantanaira Highway! - with Tito our guide for the Jaguar tour and Luiz (seated) the owner of Pouso Alegte lodge

Barara Bar - only bar/resto on Transpantanaira Highway! - with Tito our guide for the Jaguar tour and Luiz (seated) the owner of Pouso Alegte lodge

Pouso Alegre Lodge

Walk in the forest with Luiz

Walk in the forest with Luiz

Walk in the forest with Luiz - Ants Nest

Walk in the forest with Luiz - Ants Nest

Walk in the forest with Luiz

Walk in the forest with Luiz

Pouso Alegre Lodge Entrance track (6 kms)

Pouso Alegre Lodge Entrance track (6 kms)

Pouso Alegre lodge - in the hammock

Pouso Alegre lodge - in the hammock

Great Potoo (nests in tree off the track to the lodge)

Great Potoo (nests in tree off the track to the lodge)

Great Potoo (nests in tree off the track to the lodge)

Great Potoo (nests in tree off the track to the lodge)

The property is set in 7000 hectares and has a couple of hundred cattle and over a hundred horses but is otherwise virgin territory. The lodge is about a 5 km drive from the highway. We had a very relaxing, unstructured stay, which was a relief as the daytime temperatures were in the high 30's! We had a comfortable room, with a choice of fan or air-con, and the three meals a day were very good.

Pouso Alegre Lodge - our rooms

Pouso Alegre Lodge - our rooms

Pouso Alegre Lodge

Pouso Alegre Lodge

Pouso Alegre lodge - in the hammock

Pouso Alegre lodge - in the hammock


Pouso Alegre Lodge lunch

Pouso Alegre Lodge lunch

Pouso Alegre Lodge lunch

Pouso Alegre Lodge lunch

Luiz advised us of a lovely and varied walk of a few kilometers (we called it the "Three Bridges walk") which we did on three occasions at different times, each time seeing different wildlife and even a rounding up of the cattle by the local cowboys!

They also encourage birdlife around the lodge, where we saw quite a variety of exotic birds (see photos) and were visited during the evening by a Giant Anteater!!

It was just what we wanted to round off our visit to the Pantanal which has been a truly fantastic wildlife experience.

Wildlife very close to the lodge buildings

Visitor to lodge in evening - Giant Anteater!

Visitor to lodge in evening - Giant Anteater!

Visitor to lodge in evening - Giant Anteater!

Visitor to lodge in evening - Giant Anteater!

Visitors in morning that like the Papaya peelings! - Chestnut Eared Aracaris (like small Toucan)

Visitors in morning that like the Papaya peelings! - Chestnut Eared Aracaris (like small Toucan)

Visitors in morning that like the Papaya peelings! - Coco Toucan

Visitors in morning that like the Papaya peelings! - Coco Toucan

Crab Eating Fox!

Crab Eating Fox!

Chestnut Eared Aracari

Chestnut Eared Aracari

Coco Toucan

Coco Toucan

Chestnut Eared Aracari

Chestnut Eared Aracari

Cant remember

Cant remember

Solitary Cacique

Solitary Cacique

Solitary Cacique

Solitary Cacique

Yellow faced Parakeets eating mangos!

Yellow faced Parakeets eating mangos!

Yellow Billed Cardinals and others

Yellow Billed Cardinals and others

Bare Faced Currassows

Bare Faced Currassows

'Three Bridges walk'

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk - The Tree

On the three bridges walk - The Tree

On the three bridges walk - The Tree - Jabiru stork nest

On the three bridges walk - The Tree - Jabiru stork nest

[Three Bridges walk - The Tree - Hyacynth Macaws

Three Bridges walk - The Tree - Hyacynth Macaws

On the three bridges walk - The Tree - Jabiru stork

On the three bridges walk - The Tree - Jabiru stork

Three Bridges Walk - The Tree

Three Bridges Walk - The Tree

Three Bridges walk

Three Bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

Three Bridges Walk - One of a party of 15 Coatis

Three Bridges Walk - One of a party of 15 Coatis

Three Bridges Walk - Two of a party of 15 Coatis

Three Bridges Walk - Two of a party of 15 Coatis

Three Bridges Walk - One of a party of 15 Coatis

Three Bridges Walk - One of a party of 15 Coatis

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk - with the Ibises

On the three bridges walk - with the Ibises

Cowboys rounding up the cattle

Cowboys rounding up the cattle

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

On the three bridges walk

Returning to the lodge

Returning to the lodge

Other scenes snd wildlife near the lodge

Coco Toucan - upside down

Coco Toucan - upside down

Coco Toucan - right way up!

Coco Toucan - right way up!


Chestnut Eared Aracari

Chestnut Eared Aracari


Rhea

Rhea

Horse and rheas

Horse and rheas

Rhea with chicks

Rhea with chicks

Rhea chicks (3 of 12!)

Rhea chicks (3 of 12!)

Rheas near the lodge

Rheas near the lodge

Iguana

Iguana


Deer near the lodge

Deer near the lodge

large_DSC01023.JPGSetting sun

Setting sun

Setting sun

Setting sun

Luiz arranged a taxi for us for the 3 hour trip back to Cuiaba, leaving mid afternoon. The driver was a pleasant guy who looked for and pointed out wildlife and stopped for us to take photos! We were leaving on an early plane to Brasilia/Salvador the following morning so stsyed the night at the comfortable and good value Slaviero Slim hotel opposite the airport. Had a very tasty(!) pizza for dinner nearby at a roadside place very popular with the locals.

Transpantanaira Highway

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira   people fishing (near the caymans!)

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira + people fishing (near the caymans!)

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira - Roseate Spoonbills

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira - Roseate Spoonbills

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira - Capped Heron and Wood Stork

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira - Capped Heron and Wood Stork

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira

Returning to Cuiaba on the Transpantanaira

Cuiaba (opposite airport)

Tasty pizza near Cuiaba airport

Tasty pizza near Cuiaba airport

Posted by Lindseyalan73 12:57 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour (17-20/9/2018)

Jaguar!

Jaguar!

The Pantanal is the best area for wildlife in South America. It is right in the centre of South America and the northern part, which we decided to visit, is accesed from Cuiaba on the Transpantaneira Highway. The original objective was for this highway to provide a link from the north to the south of the region but, due to the regular major flooding in the wet season, they had to give up and it only goes as far as Porto Jofre. After that, the only way further south is by river.

Pantanal_map.jpg

Part 1 of our visit to the Pantanal was on a 4 Day/3 Night Jaguar Extreme Tour. We were picked up at our hotel in Cuiaba at 0630 and discovered that all 6 of us on the tour were UK nationals! It is 225 kms from Cuiaba to the Jaguar Lodge where we stayed in Porto Jofre. It starts as a regular highway but, after 75 kms and a quick stop in the town of Pocone (where there is the last petrol station and civilisation ends), the rest is a dirt road with over 120 mostly rickety wooden bridges to negotiate. There is also extraordinary wildlife in the wet areas by the side of the road - Jabiru and other storks, enormous quantities of egrets, herons and other water birds, large numbers of caymans amongst many others.

Transpantanaira Highway

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Bridge!

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Bridge!

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Jabiru

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Jabiru

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Jabiru Storks

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Jabiru Storks

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Rheas and egrets etc

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Rheas and egrets etc

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Typical scene

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Typical scene

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Caymans

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Caymans

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Pantaneira Highway - Cayman

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway -  Sunbittern

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Sunbittern

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Water Hyacinths

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour: Transpantanal Highway - Water Hyacinths

It took about 6 hours to get to our lodge. Fairly basic (considering the cost of the tour) but clean accommodation, but good food and the quality of wildlife viewing was incredible. A lovely 300 metre walk through the trees from the lodge down to the boat and then 0700-1200 and 1400-1800 out on the water. There is such a variety of water habitats - from the main wide river through all sorts of waterways right down to very narrow and shallow waterways that our flat boat almost got grounded. Beautiful scenery and then there was the wildlife ... ... During 6 half days out on the water we saw 15 different jaguars!!! and we had stunning views of jaguars for prolonged periods in all sorts of situations - from relaxing under a tree to walking along the riverbank, walking in the water along the riverside, swimming along/across the river, hauling a Cayman up the riverbank to store away for eating over the next few days ... mother and juvenile, single females, single males. We also saw giant river otters, capybaras, caymans, howler and capucin monkeys, a tapir and countless varieties of birds (including a family of 6 hyacinth macaws that lived in the area of the lodge). Wonderfull!!

Quite a few photographs follow! - hopefully in a reasonable sequence but it is not easy on this blogsite!

Jaguar Camp

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Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaw

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaw

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaws

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaws

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaws

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaws

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macau

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macau

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaws

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Hyacinth Macaws

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Buff Necked Ibis

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Buff Necked Ibis

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Yellow Rumped Caciques and nests

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Yellow Rumped Caciques and nests

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Yellow Rumped Caciques

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Yellow Rumped Caciques

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Around the lodge - Yellow Billed Cardinals

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Around the lodge - Yellow Billed Cardinals

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Around the lodge - Southern Caracara

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Around the lodge - Southern Caracara

Down to the water

Pantanal Extreme Tour - The walk to the boat landing

Pantanal Extreme Tour - The walk to the boat landing

Pantanal Extreme Tour - The walk to the boat landing

Pantanal Extreme Tour - The walk to the boat landing


Pantanal Extreme Tour - heading down to the boat

Pantanal Extreme Tour - heading down to the boat


Pantanal Extreme Tour - departure point

Pantanal Extreme Tour - departure point

Pantanal Extreme Tour - ready for departure

Pantanal Extreme Tour - ready for departure

Out on tne water

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - tree roots showing water level in wet season

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - tree roots showing water level in wet season

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2


Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Pit stop

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Pit stop

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

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Wildlife!

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour Day 1: Green Kingfisher

Pantanal Part 1 - Jaguar Extreme Tour Day 1: Green Kingfisher

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Anhinga

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Anhinga

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Black Skimmers

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Black Skimmers

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 1 - Rufescent Tiger Heron

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 1 - Rufescent Tiger Heron

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Fish that jumped in boat!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Fish that jumped in boat!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Fish that jumped in boat!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Fish that jumped in boat!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 1 - Capybara and Southern Screamer birds

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 1 - Capybara and Southern Screamer birds

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Jaguar and Juvenile Day 1

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Jaguar and Juvenile Day 1

Jaguar Camp boat trip day 1 - Female and juvenile jaguar

Jaguar Camp boat trip day 1 - Female and juvenile jaguar

Jaguar Camp boat trip day 1 - Female and juvenule jaguar

Jaguar Camp boat trip day 1 - Female and juvenule jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant Rover Otter

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant Rover Otter

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Giant River Otter

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Giant River Otter

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Giant River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar with Cayman!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Jaguar with Cayman!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Rufescent Tiger Heron

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 2 - Rufescent Tiger Heron

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Kingfisher

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Kingfisher

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Black Collared Hawk

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Black Collared Hawk

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Southern Caracara

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Southern Caracara

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Southern Caracara

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Southern Caracara

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Tapir

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Tapir

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Tapir

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Tapir

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jabiru

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jabiru

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Green Kingfisher

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Green Kingfisher

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Capybaras

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Cayman

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Older Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Older Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 -Great River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 -Great River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Great River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Great River Otters

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Great River Otter

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Great River Otter

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 4 - Mick Jaguar

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Black and Gold Howler Monkey

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Black and Gold Howler Monkey

Wonderful experience - time to celebrate
Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Caipi time!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Day 3 - Caipi time!


Pantanal Extreme Tour - Caipirinhas all round - Cheers!

Pantanal Extreme Tour - Caipirinhas all round - Cheers!

Posted by Lindseyalan73 04:42 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

Getting to Brazil: NCE-LSB-BSB-CGB (13-17/9/2018)

As usual, our trip starts off with a walk down the hill to catch the express bus to Nice airport from Golfe-Juan - happily a lovely day this time! To avoid a very late arrival and potential risk of missing a connection we decided to break up the journey with a night in Lisbon and a night in Brasilia.

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Lisbon stopover(13-14/9/2018)
TAP Air Portugal offer the possibility to stay over in Lisbon for the same price as the through journey on the same day - so we decided to stay the night at the Ibis Saldanha. It is handily located a few minutes walk from a metro stop on the line from the airport in a pleasant and interesting neighbourhood just a few stops from downtown.

We had spent 3 nights in Lisbon last October so knew our way round - metro into town, surfacing in the beautiful Rossio square, quick visit to the characterful Bere Gare Cervejaria bar nearby for a quick apero glass of light fizzy white wine (served on draught) and tasty pastel de bacalhau (salt cod patty), a glass of the famous local sour cherry liqueur (Ginginha) from a 'hole in the wall' place nearby and a meal (more bacalhau!) at the pleasant and good value Pexaria de Rossio restaurant. A great first night to get us on our way and a reminder that we would like to make another visit to Lisbon sometime.

Rossio Square
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Bere Gare Cervejaria bar
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Ginginha time!
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Peixaria do Rossio Restaurant - cheers from us both! - probably our last glasses of wine for a while!
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Brasilia stopover(14-15/9/2018)

Its a 9.5 hour flight from Lisbon to Brasilia and then a further short flight with a local airline to our final destination of Cuiaba for the start of our Brazilian travels. TAP pulled the 'RyanAir-like' cheap trick of allocating us 2 centre seats in a row of four (which is an absolute 'must avoid' on a long flight) and then charged an extra €30 to change the one seat when checking in online!!

"Arty" plane!
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Then, when we got on the plane, we found our row of 4 was empty apart from us so we need not have paid the extra! Once airborne, however, the flight was quite good and the arrival formalities rapid at Brasilia airport. ATM machines even worked without any fuss!

Arriving at about 1600 and leaving the following morning at 1040 does not give a lot of time to check out Brasilia. Built out of nothing as the new capital in the 1980's, it did not appeal anyway! We found a hotel on Tripadvisor in a satellite township about 15 minutes in a taxi from the airport. The Vida Plaza hotel in Núcleo Bandeirante turned out to be just right for us - comfortable, clean and practical room and excellent choice of fresh items for the included breakfast - for around €35. The staff were very pleasant and helpful too - and one actually spoke a few words of English!

Vida Plaza Hotel (with great breakfast included in room price)
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Not much to look at in the township of course and it was getting dark by the time we decided to have a look round, but we had checked out restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and had noted an outdoor place a block or so away called Quiosque Farol de Itapua (with Bahian food that the locals seemed to rave about - thanks to Google Translation). Loads of locals drinking beer and enjoying the food. Problem was : we could not understand what any of the food on the menu was, did not have any means of translation with us and the delightful guy taking the orders only spoke Portuguese! Anyway, someone on Tripadvisor had said "Best Acarajé (Brazilian Black-Eyed Fritters) I've ever eaten" - so we ended up sharing a plate of "Acaraje no prato completo" (Acaraje in the complete dish) and a couple of large bottles of beer. Great way to get into the local atmosphere (check out the photos) and very tasty food - which was very different from what we are used to eating in Europe!

Quiosque Farol de Itapua
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Cuiaba(15-17/9/2018)
Our last flight from Brasilia was just an hour and a half, arriving in Cuiaba late morning. I had seen that you could get a bus from the airport into town (apparently quite easily) so we opted to save on the taxi fare. Mistake! To start with, in 35 °C, trying to scramble on a bus where you have to go through a turnstile behind the driver with a rucksack, is not a good idea!! Fortunately, a Brazilian student who spoke English helped by explaining to the driver we had not got tickets in advance, where we should get off and what direction to walk once we got off. The locals rushed to help getting the rucksacks over the turnstyle and a lady used her card to pay our fares so that we could actually get through (and would not take any money from us) ... and that was just the beginning! After 20 minutes or so we got off the bus and just had the walk to our hotel! About 20 minutes in the midday sun going up a hill! Very sweaty business! We arrived finally at the 15 floor Deville Prime Cuiaba Hotel to collapse in our comfortable spacious room with two large double beds. The showers we had on arrival was very welcome!!

Cuiaba is a big city of 500k+ inhabitants which does not have much to offer tourists, but it is the gateway to the Pantanal - the best nature reserve in Brazil. We had two nights here and did make the effort to have a look round. After recovering from our journey from the airport we walked back into town and looked for signs of historical/traditional areas (not a lot!) and had a walk past the shops (mainly cheap clothes shops).

Hotel Deville Prime - Comfortable room with view from 5th floor
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Central Ciaba
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Fresh Orange Juice - delicious!
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Sunday: sunrise 0539, sunset 1740, min. 28 °C, max. 39 °C

Got up early to enjoy the amazing breakfast spread and to have a walk to and around the Mae Bonifacia Park before it got too hot - quite an extensive natural area with lots of trails being used by locals for jogging and what seemed like orienteering. We were looking out for the little Marmoset monkeys and were fortunate rnough to see them close up - cute little creatures as monkeys go and not at all worried about humans nearby.

Our final tourist effort was to get a taxi to the Mercado do Porto (main market in Cuiaba). Quite interesting to wander round and the locals were friendly - lots of local produce, large river fish, etc. and convivial spots for beer/food at the back. Only problem was ... no taxis around to take us back so we had a long walk in the heat back into town!

Mae Bonifacio Park
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Mercado do Porto
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Birds waiting for butcher's meat scraps
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Posted by Lindseyalan73 16:05 Comments (1)

South America Trip 2 - 2018

Here is the route planned for our upcoming two and a half month trip to Brazil, Argentina and Chile, beginning in mid September. After overnight stopovers in Lisbon and Brasilia, we fly in to start our trip in Cuiaba in the remote Pantanal area (fabulous for wildlife), fly back to Salvador on the east coast in the Brazilian state of Bahia and, after a trip inland to visit Lencois, we plan to stop at a few places down the east coast, missing out Rio, passing on to other coastal spots in the south of Brazil before heading inland to revisit the fabulous Iguazu falls (Argentina/Brazil). We are flying from there to Salta in the north west of Argentina, then on to Cordoba (Argentina's second city) and Mendoza (famous for its wine), before heading over the Andes to Valparaiso and Santiago in Chile from where we fly over to Buenos Aires for our last few days before returning to Europe.

Click on the top left of the map below to see the list of places we plan to visit.

SOUTH AMERICA Trip 2 - 2018 - Planned route

Posted by Lindseyalan73 05:44 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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