Brazil travel blog by Mark Berman -
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I arrived in Corumba from Bolivia on the Death Train in the morning and took a taxi from the border control to the bus terminal
which is where a couple of tour operators have offices. After the whole night on the train it was too soon to make a decision
about the Pantanal Tour. I needed to find a hostel and get some sleep. After having a look around the center of the city for a
place to stay and not finding anything suitable (one place charged a lot for a very small room) I had help from one of the tour
people and they took me to a great place that had a pool and outside kitchen area. After a good rest for a few hours I went
for a walk around the streets to buy a few groceries for lunch and dinner and to use the internet. I was looking forward to having my
own food to create something nice and was a bit tired of restaurant cooking.
10 Pin Bowling
While walking around I saw a 10 pin bowling alley and
decided that I would go in the evening after dinner and have a bowl and a beer. The name of the place is Boliche Mania, it is not
the flashiest bowling alley in the world but is good for a fun game. There was also a good live band playing here too. It is hot
in Corumba and that afternoon I went swimming in the pool at the hostel and had a great homecooked meal that night.
Book Pantanal Tour
It was time to work out what I was going to do for the Pantanal. Do I do a tour or do I go there myself? I
thought maybe I could make my own way to one of the lodges and join activity groups from there. After some more reading and a
phone call to one of the lodges I understood that you can only go to the lodges with a tour group. So therefore, on the back of a
motorbike taxi and wearing a helmet (people wearing helmets on motorbikes in S.A. is a rare sight) I made a dash to the bus
terminal and booked a tour leaving after lunch to the Pantanal. It was with Indiana Tours
and was to be 3 days and 2 nights.
Changing money in Corumba was an interesting experience. Across the road from the bus terminal there is a man in a house. You go
over there and he comes to the barred gate with a calculator and changes your cash, it's convenient and the locals say it's ok.
Corumba Quick Tour
I had 3hrs to kill before the bus left for the Pantanal. I wanted to have a look around Corumba and took a motorbike taxi into
the center of town to have a wander around. It was not busy because it was a Sunday. I walked down to the Rio Paraguai river and
looked out into the vast Pantanal and horizon. In a tree nearby I saw a huge iguana, how awesome! A statue of an eagle looks out
across the river and into the jungle. Around this area there are streets lined with palm trees, nice cobblestone roads and colorful
houses and buildings. There are a few churches and statues, a beautiful big plaza with gold statues of 2 military men and a pink
church behind it on the street. It was so hot!
I Love Brazil's Buffets!
I asked around for a restaurant for some lunch and people kept pointing me in the
direction of what turned out to be a huge and amazing buffet. Dozens and dozens of locals were there for Sunday lunch. The food was
top notch with plenty of meat being brought around to slice on to my plate by the waiters, ask around town about it. I didn't take
note of its name, I was too hungry!
90mins to The Pantanal
It was now time to get a taxi back to the bus terminal for the 90 minute bus ride to the entrance
of the Pantanal