Many people had told me that going to the Pampas actually provided a much higher chance to see wildlife and after having done the previous walk, I could easily see why. Even though we did get within ten meters of the boars, we never actually really saw them. The jungle hid them very well.
So I decided quite quickly on doing a three day pampa tour. It was a good thing that I went out directly the next day, as we had the most amazing day. Already on the road we saw a sloth up in the trees and a bunch of different birds. Once we actually were in the pampas, we saw the pink river dolphins, big kaimans, baby kaimans, monkeys and a bunch of different birds.
Including one ridiculously looking fellow who we were told has survived since the dinosaurs.. It certainly does look like creatic. This bird eats only leaves and has a cow-like digestion system, which apparently leads to a lot of gas as they spend most of their day burping in the trees. As it is they make a lot of noise and are quite common, which had them quickly turn from highly fascinating into highly annoying specimen.
We also swam with the dolphins, although I would probably rather call it “swam next to the dolphins”, as they didn’t seem particularly inclined to actually come close to us.
To make that day perfect we had a beautiful sunset out in the pampas and still managed to be home inside the moskito net before they really started attacking.
That night, however, things changed.. Our guide had already told us the weather would change.. However we did not expect it to drop down to five degrees. This is the Amazonas bassin after all, it’s rain forest, it’s meant to be hot. On the plus side, apparently it is these type of radical weather changes (which happen every year, but not always so extreme) that makes the region mostly malaria free.. The mosquito in question just doesn’t like the cold.
The next day the pampas were completely changed. No animal was seen, we found a few birds that looked like they wished they were somewhere else and then the highlight the capibara, the biggest rodent in the world. It has an absolutely charming way of looking past you and making you believe you can’t possibly have spotted it.
They are definitely very laid back.. The other thing we saw, which was highly fascinating and also quite sad, was a pair of eagles that had found and dug up a nest of turtle eggs. They seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, while we weren’t sure whether we should let nature take it’s course or intervene. In the end, it appeared they’d already broken open the eggs, so there was no point in intervening.
On our final day we went anaconda hunting, although we were quite split on whether we actually wanted to find one or not. We had seen a dead baby anaconda the previous day of only three meters length. This had us slightly worried of what might happen when we find an actual grown one. In the end we needn’t have worried, with the cold weather, the anacondas were all hidden away and we didn’t see them… which is nature too, not all animals will happily parade themselves for you when you feel like it.
The way back had a bit of a Mad Max feeling, whenever we crossed a truck: