Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pantanal Day 6 - Porto Jofre

We awoke after a good night's sleep to see the air pretty smokey.  I have failed to mention that due to brush fires, coupled with the fact the were were told that Brazilians like to burn things,  there was smoke in the air daily.  It was the worst early in the mornings when we could actually smell it.  But, later each morning some light winds would come in and blow it out so it really wasn't a problem at all. In fact, it created some great light and was partly responsible for the nice sunset yesterday.

I once again took pre and post breakfast walks around the grounds.  This experience was tremendously rewarding again today.


Hyacinth Macaws:
Hyacinth Macaws

Hyacinth Macaw

Giant lily pads with juvenile Wattled Jacanas:
Juveline Jacanas

Adult Wattled Jacana:
Wattled Jacana

The shadow:
The Shadow

It's interesting to note that the Giant Lilies bloom at night.  They are apparently pollinated by a beetle. So, each morning I would see different blooms.

Lilypad Bloom

Honestly, I could spend hours walking around the grounds of the hotel photographing things.  It was a huge unexpected delight.

Speaking of delights, I need to spend a few words talking about Brazilian breakfasts.  The breakfasts at all of our lodges were great.  Some were bigger than others.  But, they all served cake.


So, while I love Cake By The Ocean, cake for breakfast was even better.  It was a light airy cake.  We had some that were coconut flavored and some that were orange flavored.  All were incredibly delicious.  That daily indulgence coupled with the meat pastries that were also served with breakfast really gave me energy to get through the day.  It's amazing that I didn't gain any weight on this trip considering I wasn't very active but I ate like there was no tomorrow.

Back on the river, we weren't the only ones thinking about food.  We found this Cocoi Heron right after it had caught a Pacu fish. Not sure how it's going to eat that bad boy:

Cocoi Heron with Breakfast

We found out later that only one Jaguar had been spotted that morning before we hit the river and it had only been a fleeting encounter.  So, once again we feel that we missed nothing by leaving later.

We didn't have to wait long for a Jaguar to appear today.  It was 9:45AM when we got the call.  Initially, the Jaguar was playing hard to get for photos.  Still love those white ear spots:
Jaguar Sighting #6

But, eventually it decided to lay down and check out those metallic things floating in its dining hall:


Since we obviously were no threat, it proceeded to roll around. More feline behavior that we see daily from our own cat.  I like this picture because it really shows it's paws:

Play Time

Soon after, the Jaguar stood up and went inland.

As we left the area of this sighting, Julinho spotted a Jaguar in the water just downstream.  I think our engine startled it a bit because it sent a started glance our way and high-tailed it up the bank and out of sight before we could really get good looks.  Too bad.

The rest of the morning turned out to be pretty tame.  Sure the birds, Caiman, and Capybaras were out in force but we were getting spoiled by now so I don't have any pictures until just before 1PM.  It was at this point that Julinho spotted another Jaguar.  Dang he's a good spotter.  I feel that I am normally pretty good but he really knows what to look for and seems to look farther along the banks so he sees them before I do.  But, it doesn't matter who spots it.

Since it was once again lunch time, there were only 2 other boats the entire time we spent with the Jaguar.  It was a female.  We watched her hunt along the shore until she eventually decided to head inland.

Jaguar Sighting #8




Another great Jaguar viewing experience.

We cruised the rivers again after that.  Here are some more shots of some of the beautiful waterways that we spent so much time on.

Looking for Jaguar

 Tall Roots

River Reflections

Bugs.  Yup, time to talk about bugs.  They really weren't too bad.  We had biting flies on the boat that were the most irritating but we only saw them when the boat stopped.  Mosquitoes were only an issue when we went ashore for pee breaks.  They could be really bad depending on where we stopped.  Karen got eaten alive during today's first stop and then decided to load up on bug spray before future stops which helped a lot.

But, that one mosquito feeding frenzy took it's toll on her.  For some reason the bites really swell up for her and getting bit on the hands was not much fun.

It wasn't until after 3PM that we stumbled upon a boat that had just spotted another Jaguar.  Our 4th of the day.

Jaguar Sighting #9

This Jaguar is probably one of the best known cats in the area due to the fact that it lost its right eye so it's easily recognizable.  It's a huge male and easily the biggest cat we saw the whole trip.


After walking about 20 yards, the big male just flopped to the ground and slept. Julinho mentioned that this cat tends to sleep a long time and this wasn't an instance when he felt it was worth waiting.  So, we didn't.  Instead we headed back to the area where the female was hunting and we lucked out because she was out again.

Jaguar Sighting #10


The sighting was brief but fantastic none the less.

As we headed for home, I was able to get a picture I had hoped to get before the trip even started.  A Capybara with a bird on its back.  A Cattle Tyrant to be exact.  Nice!

Capybara and Friend

The day ended with another sunset spent at the lake:

Another Pantanal Sunset

As we are having dinner tonight, Karen noticed that her hands have swelled up big time from the mosquito bites.  It really looked like they belonged to someone else.  In fact, I would say that she had "Man Hands".  It's a good thing we weren't having lobster and bread for dinner.  Hmmm...maybe I have been watching too many Seinfeld reruns lately. can never watch too many Seinfeld reruns...

Tonight's after dinner night walk was uneventful except for this encounter with a rather good looking Red Tarantula:
 Red Tarantula

Today's Jaguar sightings were good.  But, it was really quantity over quality.  It really made us appreciate the quality sightings we had the days prior.  Although, we aren't complaining at all about seeing 4 Jaguars in one day.

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