“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

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Day 6 - Monday - Paso Da Ema (Araras Lodge) - a tad grumpy!

Gonzalez bringing our horses over
With only 4 rooms it was suggested yesterday that Ricardo and David either sleep outside at Paso da Ema, or travel back to Araras - leaving us with no Portuguese speaker on site - not something I was particularly comfortable with, especially as beers flow, people get brave and Caimen are VERY close. So I opted to move in with Leanne and give them my room last night, which she happily accepted. So this morning when I got up I was conscious of letting Leanne get ready in her room on her own - however, as it turns out my phone had not updated its time zone automatically on arriving in Cuiaba and was still on Sao Paulo time, which meant I had gotten up at 4am instead of 5am and after the 1am finish last night I wasn't feeling too clever. I knew this trip would mean enduring sleep deprivation, but I hadn't banked on it being quite so hot and sticky as well - seriously draining. I think everyone was suffering today.
Capybara at Araras Lodge
The waterside hide I was in was not a great success for me either; pretty much facing into the rising sun when the horses got in the water to drink so I have a few backlit images and not a lot else. No natural perches in my line of sight and the floating water hyacinth had floating off overnight since the hide was placed! oh well, what's a little backache and a few more mossie bites eh?!?
After sweating profusely for a couple of hours crouched on a dust-bank by the water's edge in a canvas bag, we had some breakfast and headed straight out into the burning heat for a horse ride with Gonzalez - one of the most famous and impressive Brazilian "Pantaneiros" (cowboys) - award winning in his field and on the cover of a book about the area. Although there was little breeze and more flies, it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours - we saw Redbrock deer, and a couple of Great Rheas, one with a broken wing.
Today's lesson when we returned, covered composition, backgrounds and shooting sunsets - which was great except we haven't actually had any sunsets yet - endless cloud cover - fingers crossed for the next few nights.
After lunch I attempted a siesta (3 hours sleep a night is really not working for me), but the temperature is ridiculously hot - as soon as you step out of a cold shower, you are drenched in sweat again and the mosquitoes are relentless. I've had to buy another bottle of the local repellent as mine appeared to be doing very little. I'm massively tired, bitten, swollen and quite uncomfortable, so despite loving this place, I'm actually really looking forward to moving on to Santa Tereza tomorrow and their small swimming pool - and AIRCON!!! YAY.

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