“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Monday, 13 October 2014

Day 11 - Transfer back to Santa Tereza

I have lots of these shots! Can you guess which bird??
Actually had a lie in today - well if you call 6am a lie in!! I set out at sunrise to shoot some hyacinth macaws around the hotel grounds, but actually ended up watching their antics through my binoculars whilst sipping coffee by the pool. We packed everything up and left about 8am for the 2 hour drive back to Santa Tereza, by the time we arrived, I was clutching a sick bag and desperately trying to breathe deeply through my nose. This is absolutely the last time I sit in the back of that truck. 
We had a quick lesson on fill-in flash around the lodge shortly after settling in (and then a couple of hours "free time" after lunch which was very welcome). In the afternoon we went out on our final boat ride on the Pixiam River to try again at capturing birds of prey and kingfishers retrieving fish from the water. We also came across two Giant river otters - judging by the state of his teeth, I'd say the first of them was the same one we saw a few days ago. Not a great specimen but good to be able to see him up close again - he must have 6 feet from the boat at times. My camera was "playing up" again and in frustration I handed it to David who eventually sussed that my lens was not mounted quite correctly and so it had an intermittent connection to the auto-focus - marvellous. Still... at least it's not ALL my photographic skills or eyesight!
We returned at sunset, and showered for pre-dinner beers. Last night of rice and beans and have to say am somewhat disappointed in the lack of Piranha soup all trip - was really looking forward to it; maybe it's the wrong season this time.  The beers continued after dinner and long into our last night - hilarious bird call competition between David and Ricardo, and the beginnings of a podcast came together for a Pantanal radio station - comedy genius.
My final pee before bed at 1am was the pinnacle of absurdity when the toilet cistern fell off the wall onto my head and flooded the bathroom! I was sat, trousers round my ankles, with the continuously filling tank balanced on my shoulder, pipework sticking out into the room, frantically typing a WhatsApp to David for assistance. Gotta love the Brazilian approach to construction.

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