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monalisa last won the day on February 19

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  1. Day 5 On our last day at BA we were taken out on the boat again. We were hoping for one last look at the otters. Our boatman, "Hawk Eyes" Paulo spotted a neotropical otter for us almost straight away. One little dude all on his lonesome. Neotropical otters are much smaller than the giant river otters but I think much cuter. They aren't quite so angry looking On this last boat trip we followed another neotropical otter and then a giant river otter for a bit but when it was clear we were beginning to bother them we left them alone. On our final drive that evening Ben took us to one of the lakes further north in the property. On the way we spotted a group of white lipped peccaries and two more giant anteaters. They were all coming out to say goodbye to us. Following Ben to the lake. There were a LOT of armadillo holes here. At night time it would be so easy to accidentally step in one and break your leg if you weren't careful! Another beautiful lake. It took us about 45 minutes to walk around it. As the sun set the sky and lake turned different shades of oranges, pinks and purples. All around the edges there were tracks of different animals, a lot of water birds and our final giant anteater at BA. Day 6 (commute day) We were leaving BA this morning and I could barely sit still. I didn't want to miss breakfast knowing we had a long commute day ahead, but this was my last chance to soak up the final sights of this beautiful place! I headed down to the river to take a quick pic of the egrets that nested on the same bush every morning. They looked like white flowers before they all started peeling away few by few at sunrise. I was starting to regret my decision to go down to the river as the grass was still boggy from the rain. My shoes and socks were soaked through! I regretted it until I stumbled upon a crab eating fox pounce for a bird! I couldn't believe my luck! I think the fox missed the bird, but it was so close (maybe 2 or 3 metres) and it looked straight at me! I knew my husband would be so jealous he missed this since he chose brekkie instead Soon after we said our goodbyes to everyone and got into our transfer plane out of BA. We didn't want to leave! At least we weren't going home and still had more in our trip to look forward to, so that softened the blow. To wrap up the South, here are some phone pictures I took from around the place. As soon as I had put it away my camera for breakfast this sunrise became even more orange and more beautiful, so this is my best attempt with a phone camera. Those colours!! The sunroom adjoining our room (taken on the first day when we arrived) A white lipped peccary behind our room bidding us farewell on our final morning Pantanal from the air On to the North!!
  2. The clouds had begun to gather on Day 3, and at about noon it started to rain. The expression "When it rains, it pours" strongly came to mind. The skies opened up and endless amounts of water bucketed down. The staff were pleased as they had been hoping for rain for a while but inside we were getting nervous. We had no idea how long the rains would last or what it would mean for the rest of our trip. Of course we understood when we booked that nature is unpredictable, weather is a dice roll, etc etc, but when were were in the situation it was hard to stay positive and not mentally tabulate the lost time and money. The North was the significantly more expensive component of our trip and if it rained there.... I didn't even want to think about it. From our window we could see all the cows, horses and various birds flee for cover. The odd capybara could be seen but essentially all the animals disappeared within 15 minutes. Our once vibrant vista became an empty sheet of grey. Would we still be able to go out on the evening game drive? Would there still be any point in going? At 3:30pm the rain had stopped but the skies were still gloomy. Claudia told us she was happy to take us out on the evening drive whether it rained or not and that it made no difference to her. All four of us were up for it and gathered our ponchos and headed out. We didn't see a whole ton of wildlife on this excursion but it was still very much worthwhile for us. It drizzled on and off in the early part of the drive before absolutely pouring with sheet rain in the evening. That was an incredible experience in itself. We had never seen lightning away from a city before, so to be part of a storm out in the middle of nature was amazing. Without all the light pollution of a big city, every strike of lightning lit up the sky in pinks and purples. At night we did see a lot of brown birds that I wasn't able to identify and more crab eating foxes than usual. The rain didn't seem to bother them in the slightest. We also caught the tail end of a crab eating raccoon. Woody Woodpecker Day 4 On the morning of Day 4 the two couples split up again and did their own thing. The other pair decided to go canoeing and we did another drive. I mistakenly said they went canoeing the last time while we were horseriding, but they actually did a walk. They saw a tapir that time - so lucky. I was pretty jealous, but the horseriding excursion was the only good sighting we had of red and green macaws. Even if I had a time machine and choose, it's Sophie's choice. The gloom was still clearing up from the night before so this morning drive was still relatively quiet. We did see some howler monkeys, albeit very high up in the treetops. There was a mama and baby there which is always precious to see. The evening drive was much more fruitful. The sun had come out again. Hooray!! We saw some armadillos digging holes. One stopped and sniffed the air as we approached. It was adorable! We also saw 2 more giant anteaters this evening. We followed them on foot and stayed with them for a good length of time. The afternoon light was golden, we had a giant anteater before us, those "formula one" frogs were sounding off in the background... Moments like those reminded us what a privilege it was to go on trips like these and witness nature just doing its thing. Humans are nearby! Here's another armadillo we were delighted to see earlier around the shed/garage area Another giant anteater On our way back to the lodge we also spotted some chestnut eared aracaris in a tree hollow which I assume are juveniles. There are at least three of them in there! Here is our video of them:
  3. I hope you are able to visit someday. It is so beautiful there and still relatively unheard of. Everyone I know knows of the Amazon but not one person had heard of the Pantanal! Hummingbirds are so hard to photograph aren't they!? I'm no expert on what to do, so even though these guys were pretty chilled I had to pre-focus on a flower I anticipated they might land on and hope they would fly there and stick their face in. For me it was a matter of clicking a thousand times and hoping one of the pictures was usable I confess I had to Google, but as it turns out, they are related to nightjars and frogmouths!
  4. Personally ST has been fairly influential for my travel decisions. Trip reports especially because they affirmed all the fantastic things I'd hoped a particular place would deliver. As a very chatty person I mentioned this forum to just about everyone I met in the Pantanal Discounts and of course photos are the best way to engage members in my very humble opinion.
  5. @xelas I think I must have been blind because I completely missed all those seal photos. They are unbelievable! And so so so so cute. Heart explosions! My jealousy is at unmanageable levels now..
  6. Wow those hyena shots are great!! What a lucky sighting!!
  7. What exactly might a "tourism and conference theme park" entail?
  8. @TonyQ Your photos were literally the reason we went to the Pantanal. Googling the Pantanal led us to your trip report!! I'm so glad we found it because we had the most incredible time
  9. @Bush dog Are you sure that's not a red lechwe? Are you pulling my leg I think I have some serious studying to do to learn the different deers! Ben is actually a Brit though he lived in Melbourne for some years. He used to guide in South Africa and Zambia! @Tom Kellie Thanks Tom, I love it too. You're always so kind to everyone on ST. Your comments are always so uplifting!! @Atdahl No anteaters?! Rotten luck! That sounds like us with tapirs. We never saw ANY. Gives us more reason to go back though right?! @offshorebirder The impression I get of the Pantanal is that you will see a mixed bag of great sights no matter what. Each day is a surprise too. When are you thinking of going? Allow me to post some more pictures to fuel the fire @Alexander33 The hyacinths really were stunning. Glad to hear that particular pair have been around for a while! The hyacinth population seems to be doing very very well there. And oh don't worry, I still have a little more of the south + the north to come!! I love jaguars so I personally think the best is yet to come
  10. We generally try to book everything on our own if we can, though we did use an intermediary this time (Brazil Nature Tours) because we had emailed BA and never heard back from them. We later learned that their internet had been down for weeks. Getting to the Pantanal isn't the easiest but it wouldn't be more cumbersome than say any of the parks in Africa. You have to fly through a major city first, transfer to the closest regional airport and then transfer to your accommodation. From Australia we flew from Sydney to Santiago, Santiago to Sao Paulo, overnighted in Sao Paulo before flying to Campo Grande, driven to Aquidauana and then flown in a small plane to BA. The whole process was about a day and half. To get to the north we flew from Campo Grande to Cuiaba, overnighted in Cuiaba and then were picked up by car and driven to our lodge. Logistically I don't think it matters whether you visit the North or South first and both are about the same level of effort to get to (and both more than worth the effort!)
  11. That cheetah chase was amazing! Trying to get the right focus was always going to be a dice roll since they are so fast!! I can sense the speed and the thrill from your images which I think is the point!
  12. Um wow. Those dunes look incredible. The red colours are incredible. The photos of people looking like tiny ants climbing the dunes look incredible!! I'm afraid the green eyed monster has reared it's ugly head. I so badly wanted to see flamingos in Africa. There were thousands of them, but as a faint pink line on the horizon I can't believe how close those flamingos are. AMAAAZZINNGGG!!
  13. Hahaha!!! I knew it wouldn't be long before I got one wrong!! Thank you!! We did see marsh deers. At least they told us we did But I'm having difficulties reconciling which deer is which and I'm not even sure I took photos of all of them. Is *this* a marsh deer? Or is it another pampas? The furry horns vs the smooth horns are incredibly confusing for me! Of the names you mentioned, Claudia was the only one there. She is so lovely isn't she! From what I understand either Lucas or Marina are siblings with Corinne whose father passed BA to the children. Corinne and her husband Ben were running BA during our stay. Both Ben and Corinne were fantastic, and incredible people-persons. Honestly, all the staff were great when we stayed in May.
  14. A wise choice! I came out bruised and battered from the experience And saaaaaame. They are so wonderfully weird!!

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