Wending my way home - Leaving Brazil

Hi y'all

As followers of these irregular travel notes will have sussed I am now on the last leg of my journey in South America.

From Salavdor we travelled west and into the interior. On the way to the Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world (well that's what the book says) we visited a couple of national parks at Lencois and Itiquira where we visited table top mountains, caves, lakes, waterfalls and a grotto d'azul where there were loads of stalagmites and stalagtites. Its an interesting thing but there seem to be loads of grottos d'azuls in Brazil as we visited another in Bonito (more of that later).

From Lencois we continued westward to Itiquira and then Brasilia (the current capital of Brazil). Brasilia is quite an unusual capital in that it was built within the last 50 years and according to the books looks like a bow and arrow from the air. From the pictures I saw I thought it looked more like a bird but hey what do I know. From Brasilia we spent a couple of days on the road before arriving at Bonito which is in the southern Pantanal.

We spent 4 days in Bonito and saw another grotto d'azul, went for walks in the jungle and generally chilled (again). From Bonito we turned north and travelled to Chapada where we did some walking in the Chapada dos Guimaraes national park on top of the oldest mesa plateau in the world. From Chapada we travelled to Pocone and spent some time on a Fazenda (farm) around 80Km from Pocone exploring parts of the northern Pantanal.

During our stay we saw loads of birds in particular the Hyacinth Macaw which only lives in the Pantanal and is considered quite rare. We also saw loads of caimen (a type of crocodile), ant eaters, monkeys, deer, capivara (largest rodent in the world) and much more. Although this is the start of the wet season we were lucky with the weather in that it only chucked it down once during the day. Most storms seemed to take place at night leaving the day dry, hot and humid.

From Pocone me and some of the other guys split off from the main group, who were off to do a jungle trip, so that we could get into Venezuala a little earlier and do some trekking (more about that later).

We travelled by bus to a town called Humatai on the banks of the Rio Madeira where we caught a ferry to the port city of Manaus. The ferry journey to 3 days and we had to spend 2 nights kipping in hammocks. The trip was an experience and I'll tell everyone about it in more detail when boring you about my adventures once I get home.

Anyway, as you must have guessed by now I'm in Manaus and will be catching a bus tomorrow to go to Venezuala and the last country on my journey. I'll let everyone know what happened then in my last update which will in all probability be sent from Caracas while waiting for my flight.

Hope everyone is well

Thinking of you always (NOT!)
Matt somewhere in South America !!!
Telephone: switched off