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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Mato Grosso, Brazil

Sep 21, 2014 - Another Full Day

Another Full Day Last night we met a young lady from Germany. She is a recent high school graduate and is traveling around the world by herself for a year before starting university as an engineering student. Marilyn invited Madelaine to join us for dinner. The entire group immediately "adopted" her, inviting her to join us on several of our planned activities, She was a great sport to go birding for her very first time and to be doing it with people old enough to be her grandparents! At seven we were loading a boat to again look for...

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Brazilian "Safari"

Sep 20, 2014 - Moving back north

Moving Back North Today was the most relaxed day of our tour so far. We met for a walk at 6:35, finding new trip birds every so often. The Barred Antshrike was the most entertaining of these finds. The bird is white with black barring everywhere and was putting his entire body into his calls. A bristly looking black "Mohawk" was also raised with each call. At the end of the bird walk, we drove into a small family fish bait operation and living quarters. The bait fish being raised and sold was unusual, but the real fascination came in seeing...

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Sep 19, 2014 - More birds from the road and otters from the boat

More Birds from the road and otters from the boat Today we started by backtracking on the Transpantaneira Highway for several miles, stopping to walk ahead of the bus and scan. We had a few new birds in the morning highlighted by the Great Potoo. We stopped at the cattle ranch owned by the couple who own the lodge where we are staying. In the afternoon we spent another 3 hours patrolling the rivers, hoping for one last Jaguar sighting. We had sightings of both Giant Otters and River Otters, alas no more Jaguars. Bird highlights for the...

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Sep 18, 2014 - JAGUARS...and by the way more birds

JAGUARS...and by the way more birds Left on our morning boat ride at 6:00 am. Even though the area is in the dry season and is not considered to be in flood stage, the twists and turns and tributaries and channels make the Pantanal really an aquatic environment. It's hard to imagine what the experience would be like during the flood/wet season. We patrolled many miles of river, tributaries and channels looking for Jaguars, but for the first four hours only stopping for bird sightings. Around ten we happened upon a boat that had been...

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Sep 17, 2014 - More Birds in the AM...A Long Washboard in the PM

More Birds in the AM..... A Long Washboard in the PM Breakfast was a relatively reasonable 5:30! We were out birding at six, walking west from the lodge and away from the sunrise. We had several new birds, but one was a show stopper, the Red-legged Seriema. We first spotted two of these large birds jumping up and down from a low branch, so Paulo played the call. This caused one of them to run right at the group, (the sound) then cross the road within just a few feet of Paulo and finally run still a hundred meters more in the same direction....

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Sep 16, 2014 - The Best Birding Day Yet-Plus a Bonus

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 The Best Birding Day Yet...Plus a Bonus We all birded with Paolo starting at 5:30 am, then stopped for breakfast at seven. By breakfast we had over 20 species of birds, a Coati and our our bonus, a Giant Anteater. We continued after breakfast and the bird species kept coming including a Rhea (a large Ostrich-like bird). Particularly striking were the Blue-crowned Trogon and the Whistling Herons. This morning was the most awesome morning so far...perfect temperatures, beautiful sunrise, bird calls all around and...

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Sep 15, 2014 - Goodbye to Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Hello Pantanal

Monday, September 15, 2014 Goodbye to Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Hello Pantanal Today we slept in, until 5:30 am!! We left Cristalino Lodge by boat at 7 with our luggage traveling behind in a second boat. Once on the road leading to and from the boat "dock", we stopped and walked ahead of our van and birded for varying lengths of time and with varying success. Highlights included a pair of Scarlet Macaws eating breakfast just over the road and a Xenopsaris which Paulo claims is the rarest bird he has ever photographed. The Xenopsaris was...

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Sep 14, 2014 - Our Longest Hike and Some "Tapiring" in the Afternoon

Sunday, September 14, 2014. Our Longest Hike, and Some Tapiring in the Afternoon Again breakfast was at 5 am and we took off for our morning walk/HIKE on the boat at a little after 5:30. This hike was the Serra Trail and it featured a good climb and lots of difficult footing on rocks and wet leaves making for slow going. The view of the rainforest from the rock outcropping was worth the effort, and the birds were a bonus. We had a pair of Black Caracara join us at the summit for our stay and many colorful smaller birds gave us shorter...

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Sep 13, 2014 - After all...it is a RAIN forest

Saturday, September 13, 2014 After All it, is a RAIN Forest The morning started with breakfast at 5 am again and at 5:40 we were headed upriver. There were lots of birds near and on the river, but nothing new. The find of the trip up was a Giant Otter. Once we landed at a trailhead we began what would be a hike through the forest, then up a steep, hot hill. The trail was in bad shape from the storm on the day we arrived and several detours had to be hacked around fallen trees. The birding was as tough as the hiking, with far more birds...

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Sep 12, 2014 - A Tall Order and Much More

Friday, September 12, 2014 A Tall Order and Much More Breakfast was at five so we could boat across the river and hike to tower #2 by sunrise. Both Marilyn and Dave have a serious issue with heights, so ONLY climbed to the first platform (approx 125 ft.). Paolo was nice enough to stay with us to help identify birds. Roger, Louise and the rest of our group joined Cristalino Lodge Guide, Oliver at the top, about 165 feet in the sky. We stayed on the tower constantly scanning for birds (and willing the tower to stop wiggling and shaking) from...

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Sep 11, 2014 - Cuiaba to Cristalino Jungle Lodge via Alta Floresta

Thursday, September 11 From the city to the RAIN forest We had a 10am for our flight from Cuiaba north to Alta Floresta. Then a drive on a very dusty road for an hour to the Teles Peres River through cattle ranches and then jungle. Just as we arrived at the river, the skies opened and we had a downpour with some wind. We waited out the worst of the storm and loaded our gear and our group into basic aluminum boats with no cover. We were all huddled in our rain gear and set off from the Teles Peres River then upstream of the Rio Cristalino...

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Sep 10, 2014 - Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, Brazil

Tuesday and Wednesday, September 9 &10 Fly, Fly and Fly some more!! Our first flight was a reasonable 12 noon, so we can save the 5:00 am risings til there are some new and exciting wildlife possibilities, after arriving in Brazil. Denver to Atlanta left on time, but was well ahead of schedule into Atlanta. Atlanta to Brasilia was an 8 1/2 hr overnight struggle to get comfortable enough to steal even a few moments of actual sleep and Brasilia to Cuiaba was an uneventful hour and a half flight over surprisingly dry and dusty terrain. Our...

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