Melissa and I are currently in the City of Bonito, Brazil. It seems like years ago that we were in Potosi so let's see how well we remember what occurred. While in Potosi Melissa saw the silver mines. She said it was an experience she will never forget. The men in their 50's teaching their 10 year old sons how to mine since the fathers die at such an early age due to all the toxins in the mines.
As for Sucre. We spent the first morning in Sucre walking to the top of one of the hills to look at statue of Christ. It seems that most cities in South America have a statue that overlooks the city. In the afternoon a couple of us took a bus to a location where they discovered dinosaur tracks where they were mining for minerals. The tracks were confirmed by US scientists. We've included some pictures.
Now as for the Pantanal. I think they are the largest wetlands in the world or at least in South America. None of our guides seems to speak English which really makes things interesting when your doing everything by hand signal or body movements. Everything is up for intepretation. We got pretty good with the Spanish, but now we are having to start over with Portugese. The place we stayed at was interesting. Beautiful, but it was like YMCA camp only not very clean. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, horses, etc. all wandering around. We got there late at night after travelling all night on a train and then five hours in an open truck. We all took showers to wash off the dust, made up our hammocks and then went off to eat. Every meal has danger written all over it. This meal was no exception. I woke up the next morning violently ill. I spent the majority of the time either in the bano or in the cold shower grovelling. Painful when your surroundings are already difficult, adding food poisoning to it, I wouldn't recommend it. Everyone else stopped eating most of the food after that and lived on snacks and bottled water. While I was sick Melissa hiked around with the rest of the group in the morning, made necklaces, and went horseback riding in the afternoon. There was also some singing around the campfire that night.
The next morning we got up early for another fabulous meal, just kidding, and headed off to the town of Bonito, Brazil. Cute little town, safe to walk around at nights in the dark. There are exactly 8 blocks to the whole city. We had a great day yesterday. We went to a beautiful crystal clear river yesterday that is produced by natural springs. We got in wet suits and snorkeled down the river, absolutely fabulous. This adventure is on my top ten list. We moved with the current so close to the fish that it was like swimming in an aquarium. The fish were huge, some were about half the size of us. We took underwater pictures, but won't be able to include them on this website because they need to be developed back home. We even floated down some rapids which was very exciting in snorkeling gear. I think we were on the water about 2-1/2 hours. The depth of the water changed from deep to so close you just missed the rocks by inches.
Now we are just hanging out and getting ready for our four hour bus trip to dinner where we catch the night bus (another 9 hours) driving through Paraguay back to Brazil and the falls. Can't wait.
Hope all is well at home.
Kathy and Melissa