“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

Friday, 10 October 2014

Day 8 - Transfer to Porte Jofre

The drive along the final section of the Transpantaneira to Porte Jofre ... long, hot and very very bumpy. It was mine and Leanne's turn in the back of the truck too which made for a horribly queasy journey for me and a pee stop half way which resulted in me being trouserless in the back of the truck trying to remove a biting critter from my thighs. Not comfortable at all.
Arrived mid morning and settled in, gorgeous place - middle of nowhere. Had a lovely lunch before setting off in our boat at 130pm with our boat driver, JD - within an hour we were shooting a Jaguar on the river bank as a result of a radio call from one of the other guides - awesome!!!
By the end of the afternoon we had seen 3 different jaguars; the last one having "words" with two giant river otters before frightening the Capybara half to death.. and in their haste to get away one of them unfortunately clonked its head on the underside of our boat in a panic resurfacing! Funny but not funny at the same time. I happened to be sitting in the belly of the tin boat at the time and felt the force that the poor rodent hit it with. And when I say rodent, we are talking rodent the size of a large dog or small pig, not a rat-sized mammal at all. Capybaras are a Jaguar's staple prey. Really difficult conditions to shoot though - I really struggled - not only was the boat moving up and down with the passengers moving and the waves in the water, but it was drifting with the current too - image stabilisation can no way compensate for these aspects as well as camera shake, low light level blurring and my hideously bad focusing ability! Still is was an awesome experience and with any luck I will improve with practise over the next couple of days.

Amazing sunset too, immediately followed by a spectacular full moon rise - but since we were still a long way from home at this point, (and ended up returning at high speed in the dark on the boat) I was not able to film it. Such a shame as it really was stunning; because the sun had only just set, the full moon was a vivid golden colour and reflected in the water for miles.

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