Brazil is the final piece of this trip. It would be the last part of our adventure in South America, but there is still so much to see. We decide to wait before shipping the car to another continent and to spend more time in South America. The car goes into storage in Uruguay, while we go back to the Netherlands for a while.
But first two months in Brazil.
Border crossings remains a thing of the past. There are many horror stories to read about, but what you can and cannot take with you is always a bit unclear. Especially with the dog.
It all goes well and the check is minimal. We will cross the border within the hour, luckily we will not reach the stated 4 hours. It is still a bit unclear whether we now have an hour's time difference with Bolivia, but we leave that for what it is. After all, we don't have to catch a train.
At the campsite in Corumbá we meet the Brazilians Walquiria and Arthur.
At the invitation of Walquiria and Arthur we go to a "mobile home" meeting in Ponta Porã.
It is completely outside of our plan and route. But because it is on the border with Paraguay, it is a good opportunity to have the car repaired.
It appears that the rear axle has had a blow and is therefore crooked. With the help of Arthur we find a good garage that not only overhauls the rear axle but solves a number of other small defects.
For Brazilians, Ponta Porã is a tax-free mecca. So our time here consists mainly of shopping, eating, drinking and waiting for the car to be ready.
Finally we can leave again. We make a stop in Jardim and Bonito. In the area around Bonito are countless caves, lakes and waterfalls. The water here has a special color and is crystal clear.
Unfortunately it is a bit too fresh to take a dip.
Pantanal, Mato Grosso Sur
We drive into the Pantanal via the Estrada Parque. It is an unpaved road that has been underwater for half the year with countless bridges of sometimes poor quality.
There must be a lot of "wildlife" here, so with a camera and binoculars in the ready, we scour the area.
We see many different species of birds, caimans, capybara's but of course we hope for a Juaguar or Tapir.
Unfortunately we are not so lucky but there is so much life here and we discover so many other animals that it is not so bad.
If we go camping somewhere and say we have a dog, they warn us because the Jaguars are not that dog friendly. Would we still ...?
Walking cateau gets a whole different dimension. Camera with you and yet with excitement because what do you do when such an animal attacks? Unfortunately or maybe luckily we don't see any.
Yes, we can see them with a boat trip for way too much money. With a guarantee that again, but we thank. A full boat with noisy people doesn't really attract us.
We just continue to bump and become much happier finding wildlife ourselves.
Via another dirt road we drive along the east side of the Pantanal.
Here too we see many different species of birds. But also various types of monkeys, nose bears, wild boar and giant anteaters.
There is not only a lot of life but there are also a lot of waterfalls.
It is Walquiria's birthday and has invited us to come to her birthday.
Uberlandia is not really on our planned route either. But we had decided not to stick to any planning, so for fun we just drive a few hundred kilometers.
We sleep with Arthur and Walquiria in the driveway and stay longer than we thought but it is very cozy and relaxed.
On a recommendation we visit Serra da Canastra. Not a book that writes about it, but the Brazilians are very enthusiastic about it.
Rightly so. They are three mountain tableaus where various rivers originate. As a result, there are countless waterfalls.
We can see enough again. Although we have seen a lot of giant anteaters, they are still very special animals. Especially when we discover one with a little one on the back.
The area is also known for the serious 4x4 driving. When we plow our way up, someone on a dirt bike passes by. I ask him if the road is getting worse and he looks doubtfully at the car. But according to him it should work. He precedes us and if the road gets a little better he asks us "Facieboekie". In the evening we will receive a message as to whether we have arrived properly! Totally Brazilian friendliness!
It is clear that there are many colonial villages.
On the way to the coast we visit Diamantina.
From Arraial D 'Ajuda on the coast we drive south. The weather is very variable. Beautiful weather one moment and rain, wind and cold the other.
We meet a lot of Brazilians and regularly come for dinner. In the beginning we feel a bit embarrassed but it is very cozy and you learn something about the customs, the country and the food.
Paraty is on the coast. Also an old village with beautiful houses. It is touristy but it is also nice and relaxed.
And there's nothing like eating a fish at the top of the beach with a Caipirinha (cane sugar liquer, lime and sugar)
South of Sao Paulo we leave the coast and the rain and drive to Foz do Iguaçu.
We didn't really notice it, but were surprised for a while about the blond children and the red-haired ladies. We were in an area where many Europeans settled. There also seems to be a village Castro where you can find windmills and Frisian manor houses and the town of Witmarsum even sounds very Dutch in its Portuguese. Here too there are factories from Heineken and Frisia.
The place where we spend the night is away from everything except a number of waterfalls. Which we have for ourselves.
The people of the site have their roots in Ukraine and ask if we want to eat with them. We do not say no because we understood that the kitchen would be very good here.
She proposes a dish in Portuguese (could have been Ukrainian in retrospect) because we thought we would get something very special, so we sat down expectantly.
Ok the language is still a thing because we get ..... a sandwich. And if we liked it, we could have another one.
Just a bit of a shame that we had a nice piece of "Picanha" (prime rib) in the fridge. Anyway it's not about the food but about the fun we will say.
Of course we cannot leave from South America before we have visited the Iguazú or Iguaçu waterfalls.
How you write it depends on which side you are on. In Brazil or Argentina.
And it must be said; it is impressive.
Unbelievable how much water falls down. But also incredible how many tourists are out of season.
Fortunately, just like at the Machu Picchu, we can find quiet places to enjoy the spectacle
Because you can visit the waterfalls from two countries, we rent a taxi that can take us to Argentina.
It is quite a hassle to get in and out of the car and Cateau for one day and then out and in again.
Cateau and Brinks stay in Brazil while we go to Argentina as a real tourist. Our driver even goes to immigration at the border post for us.
Now the end is coming very quickly. Via Vale de Europe and Vale de Tirol drive to Montevideo.
We can slowly get used to our return.
The villages exude Switzerland, Italy and Germany. With accompanying Bock sausage, beer, chocolate and cheese fondue. But the weather is also autumnal and we already get the "dark days before Christmas" feeling.
We cross the border with Uruguay without any problems without the probably required papers for Cateau.
We spend a few days cleaning and tidying up the car to enjoy the last 3 days in Buenos Aires and to prepare ourselves and Cateau for the return flight to the Netherlands.
We drove 50,000 km, met a lot of people and visited beautiful places.
This tastes like more and for us this part is one of many to come. Sometimes a setback but in the end everything will be fine. This was certainly not a "once in a lifetime"
Our biggest adventure is to live the life of our dreams.