Friday, August 17, 2018

Brazil Day 16 - Rio

So, Karen and I both woke up a bit fuzzy today.  I wonder why...

The plan was to meet Ricardo at 7:15AM but we were moving pretty slowly.  We figured that Bill and Peggy must be feeling the same and since they drank more may not make it on time.

We wandered down to breakfast and not 5 minutes later Bill and Peggy showed up bright-eyed and bushy tailed.  I guess they can hold their liquor a bit better than we can.

We didn't quite make our 7:15AM departure time with Ricardo, but we were close.  We had originally planned to go up to the Christ the Redeemer statue in the AM and Tijuca National Park in the PM.  However, since the view from the statue was similar to that of the one we had yesterday we skipped that and just spent all our time in Tijuca National Park.

We actually had a pretty good place for a view on the way up to the park:

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

Unfortunately, the easy route to the park was closed so we had to take the long way which meant an extra half hour on windy roads.  I wasn't feeling so hot during this drive but I held it together and my mini hangover eventually passed later in the day.

Tijuca National Park is actually in Rio and there is lots of wildlife and some great scenery there:

Tijuca National Park Waterfall

Brown Capuchin Monkey:
Brown Capuchin Monkey

Brazilian Squirrel:
Brazilian Squirrel

South American Coati:
South American Coati

Now, while we don't consider ourselves "birders", we do like exotic looking and colorful birds.  Tijuca National Park had lots of both of these.  It's tough getting good pictures of back lit birds but I managed a few decent enough to share.

Spot-breasted Ant Vireo:
Spot-breasted Ant Vireo

Eared Pygmy Tyrant:
Eared Pygmy Tyrant

Scaled Antbird:
Scaled Antbird

Green-headed Tanager:
Green-headed Tanager

Maroon-bellied Parakeet:
Maroon-bellied Parakeet

Red-crowned Ant Tanager:
Red-crowned Ant Tanager

Blue Manakin:
Blue Manakin

Red-necked Tanager:
Red-necked Tanager

If seeing birds like that doesn't turn you into a birder then nothing will.

When we were done in the park, Ricardo took us on the scenic route along the beaches back to the hotel.  Since this was a Saturday, the beaches were packed.  I have never seen so many people on beaches before.  Ricardo said that they were likely all locals because that is what they do on the weekends. In fact, after dropping us off, he was going to the beach to play volleyball.

Ricardo was an excellent guide and is highly recommended to anyone coming to Rio for birding or any general tourist needs.  As we got out of the car at the hotel, we starting talking about how much we owed him since we prepaid for the statue activity but didn't end up going.  So, money started to come out and Ricardo rightfully said that we should get back in the car for this.  Once we calculated how much we owed Ricardo we paid him, said our goodbyes and left.

It was about this time I noticed the hotel doorman was watching us.  I think it might be pretty easy to think that we were up to no good from his point of view which was probably something like this:

- 4 doors opened from this car and 5 people got out
- They huddled at the back of the car and some money came out
- Then they looked around and put the money back in their pockets
- Then all 4 doors opened again and they went back in the car
- Then they all handed something to the driver while looking around again
- Then all 4 doors opened again and they went to the back of the car, shook hands, and left

So, I made sure to wink at the door man as we went back in the hotel.

Yesterday, we had arranged to book day rooms at the hotel for today since our flight leaves at 9PM.  This turned out to be a great idea because it gave us a place to securely store what we didn't take on our tour with Ricardo and allowed us to shower right before our long international flight.  It was great that the Arena Copacabana provided this option.

Ricardo had booked a transfer for us to the international airport which was on time.  24+ hours later we were back at home listening to the endless crying of our spoiled cat and reminiscing about another great trip.

We did manage to take some video here and there through out the trip and I edited it together:

This trip exceeded our expectations with all the great wildlife we saw, the beauty of Rio, and of course the fantastic Giant Anteater encounters.  For those keeping track here is a taste of what we saw:

28 Mammals (9 lifers in bold):
  • Buffy-tufted Marmoset
  • Hoary Fox
  • Black-horned Capuchin
  • Capybara
  • Azara's Agouti
  • Giant Anteater
  • Six-banded Armadillo
  • Southern Tamandua
  • Crab-eating Fox
  • Crab-eating Raccoon
  • Pampas Deer
  • Gray Brocket Deer
  • South American Coati
  • White-lipped Peccary
  • Collared Peccary
  • Proboscis Bat
  • Big Brown Bat
  • Greater Fishing Bat
  • Giant Otter
  • Neotropical Otter
  • Black Howler Monkey
  • Red Brocket Deer
  • Leaf-nosed Bat (exact species unknown)
  • Brazilian Rabbit
  • Brown Capuchin
  • Golden Lion Tamarin
  • Common Marmoset
  • Brazilian Squirrel

8 Herps (1 lifer in bold):
  • Cane Toad
  • Chaco Frog
  • Lesser Snouted Tree Frog
  • Warty Snouted Tree Frog
  • Giant Ameiva
  • Guarani Spiny Lizard
  • Spix's Whiptail
  • Amazon Lava Lizard

  • We saw well over 200 bird species but only counted the 129 lifers
  • That list of lifers can be shared upon request
The End!

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