Left Rio we directed to Cuiabá, point of departure for the visit of the region of the Pantanal; this big alluvial zone approximately as half France is absolutely a heaven for the lovers of the nature and it is surely the best place to meet wild animals of the whole Brazil.

The only beaten road that crosses part of the Pantanal is the Transpantaneira, that connects Poconé to Porto Jofre for a length of around 150 Kms and alternated in hundreds of small wood bridges (sometimes decidedly a little stable); at least in the period of our visit (the dry season) the road is quietly practicable with a normal car, you don't need a 4WD car.

The only tour we found from Italy foresaw a visit of 1 day only, fortunately once on the place through the agency Natureco (site in Portuguese) we have succeeded to take a 2 days tour with a stay in a fazenda-pousada along the road. Hardly overcome the point of entry of the park, started the show, the whole road is studded of small pools literally full of crocodiles that the local call jacaréJacare (53420 byte), of capibara (big rodents) Capibara (30026 byte) and of birds of all the types and dimensions, between all I liked particularly the toucansTucano (33450 byte) and of the big birdsUccello (30437 byte) similar to the Kakadus sees in Australia.


From the fazenda we had an horse excursion between the brushwood that during the rainy season is completely submerged by meters and meters of water and that it feeds the numerous rivers of the zone so much rich in fish that from those parts each year it is developed the world championship of fishing; during a tour with a  boat I also try pantanal_piranha1.jpg (33014 byte) the fishing of the piranhas Piranha (15018 byte), all it takes is attaching a piece of meat to the hook and take attention, you must throw immediately before these voracious fishes rubber the meat.

After having slept to São Paulo we left again for the last destination of the trip: Natal: for a bathing standstill. This zone is famous for its enormous sand dunes, we lodged to the hotel Natal Dunnas to Ponta Negra really in proximity of one of the greatest dunes: the Morro do Careca. The city was very quite even if the local people explained that September is low season. Between the varied excursions absolutely not to miss is that one on the dunes with the buggies along the north coast; after having crossed the Rio Potengi we entered in the park of the mobile dunes, I read something about the crazy bugeiros (the drivers) but I didn't wait for me what we were about to happen!! As soon as we entered the park, the bugeiros drove at the maximum speed on the walls (almost vertical) of the dunes for then to throw "in the void" from the opposite side, I had to hold attached with all the strength to the roll-bar to avoid to fly out of the buggy!!.

Once gathered with the other buggies on the tallest dune the  bugeiros asked if we wanted to continue with strong emotions or to have a quite tour so we opted for the second possibility. At first we have reached some little ponds surrounded from the dunes and then coasted along the sea for many Kms; to cross a small river we climbed with the buggies on a small hand barges. In the varied points of standstill it is possible to fly or to slip with some kinds of bob from the dunes to water.


Morro do Careca

Along the south shore there are some beautiful beaches that can be visited with the buggies, to Ponta Negra instead the beach is not exceptional. 

I Left Natal (and Brazil) with a feeling of anger-sorrow, I was chatting with the taxi-driver on the fact that in Italy the cold winter was about to arrive, candidly he said me that from their parts when the temperature goes down under 24° it is cold, grrrrrrr.


Copyright © 2000 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.