The dark clouds that had been chasing us from Corumbá on our way to the hotel in the Pantanal had finally caught up and the rain came pouring down when we arrived at the place. The whole complex is built on stilts and a long bridge ran from the parking space to the entrance. No cover in sight and our rain gear was still in the main luggage. Soaked we arrive at the other end. Later in the afternoon the boat trip was replaced by fishing. Well my first, and last as it turned out, piranha looked ferocious enough and was subsequently fed to the tame cayman waiting at the river edge.
The next morning early a very tedious and long drive (and back in the afternoon) to the place where we will spend the day, horse riding in the morning and walking in the afternoon, or the other way around. I do the horse riding first and it is special: most of the ground is submerged by 30 to 40 centimetres of water and for good fun we also traverse a few lakes that are quite a bit deeper up to the flanks of the horse. They docilely follow the horse in front of course, since most of us have no clue what to do. A flurry of yellow a few horses ahead, somebody was thrown off. Romana's horse has panicked at the sight of a cayman and she has fallen off in the shallow water, unhurt luckily but muddy and completely soaked. One of the accompanying horsemen walks out between the reeds with a rope and catches the cayman. A bit mysteriously he lets it loose again amidst our horses, training them? A bit later, in another lake, another cayman is spotted, I would rather that they keep their distance. After about two hours we are back again, my muscles and joints tell me that this was more than enough.
The walk in the afternoon is equally special since we walk most of the time through 30 to 40 centimetres of water as we did in the morning, the water is almost hot in the sun and the Pantanal frankly is like the "Oostvaarders plassen", but then only about a hundred times bigger.
After a boat trip in the morning we are off again, to Bonito this time.