Snorkelling and Hostages
02.08.2010 - 05.08.2010 18 °C
It was only a short 4 hour minibus journey from the Pantanal to Bonito and on the way we saw a GIANT ANTEATER! It was absolutely amazing, probably better than anything else we'd seen over the last few days. Unfortunately it was too dark to take a picture so you'll just have to google it instead!
We'd arranged to stay at a hostel in Bonito which was owned by the company that we'd taken the Pantanal tour with so arrived with some reservations about how good it would be. All seemed fine until the second morning of our stay...
The first day we'd planned on renting bikes and cycling down to the river to relax in the sunshine. However, the bad weather that seems to have plagued us recently was back and it was yet again rather chilly! Instead we decided to stay inside and catch up with the blog (so hope you all appreciated it! ).
The second morning was when things took a turn for the worse. The saga started when we found out that we´d accidentally left the gas oven on in our hostel overnight when the manager told us we'd used up all his gas and demanded a small fortune (by Brazil standards) for a whole new tank of gas. We told him we were very sorry to have left it on all night but could only reasonably be expectd to pay half of the ridiculous amount he was asking for. This started a massive arguement which ended in us telling him where to go and packing up our things to move to another hostel for our last night here. But then when we were sat in his office to pay for the 2 nights we´d stayed, he LOCKED US IN until we'd paid all the money for the gas and told us he could wait there all day if we wouldn't pay! We threated to call the police and tell them he was keeping us hostage but he told us the police would always be on the side of a local and not a foreigner which sounded about right. We had no choice but to pay all the money because we had our expensive snorkelling tour booked just half an hour later and would have missed it if we'd been stubborn and sat it out. Safe to say we didn't part on the kindest of words, and Im sure we'll be writing lots of reviews on the internet warning backpackers not to stay there!
Luckily the afternoon made up for our bad morning. We took a tour to the 'Rio Sucuri' which is one of the clearest rivers in the world. We got changed into some fetching wetsuits and walked through the forest to reach the river. Along the way there was a beautiful bright blue pool of water, although again we can't show you a picture as everything non-waterproof had to be left on the bus. We then got into the river which was absolutely crystal clear and was 22 degrees so wasn't too cold, to begin with at least! The current was really strong so we peacefully floated along watching all the fish pass beneath us. There were lots of fish, but only 4 or 5 different types. The most common one was over a foot long though which was quite scary when they were right next to your face!
The worst bit was definitely getting out. It was still really cold and windy, which made us shiver so much that the tea we were drinking was splashing all over the place! Bonito is clearly better suited to hot weather, which sadly is expected the day after we leave.