Time loses its importance quickly out there in the Pantanal. People get up with the sunlight, eat, sleep during the worst heat and avoid the late afternoon mosquito swarms. Powered by a Diesel engine, the little boat made its way slowly up the Rio Paraguay and then the Rio Parana. Both are large waterways framed by green, thick covers.
As we learned during the trip, the Pantanal is already filling up in December, due to the rains coming from the Amazonas. While water stands low in the dry months from May till October, it starts raining in November and the chances of seeing animals are consequently decreasing. Still, we saw hundreds of birds, capibaras, jacaré and even one morning huge otters. Everything but the famous onça – jaguars.
I found the boat journey a very peaceful, slow way to travel: nothing to worry about, no pressure to be anywhere at any precise time. An engine failure in the middle of the night, or a steering problem during the day, doesn’t matter. The answer to the question when we would arrive, was “Monday, se deus quiser”.