Just a small van in a big country
We left São Paulo on the 2nd of June 2018 and ahead of us were 1600 km, before we would reach the city limit of Cuiaba. We keep the speedometer around 80 km/h, and according to our GPS this mean that we are traveling with a speed of 74km/h. 1600 km divided with 74 km/h result in 21hours and 37 minutes of driving. We usually only drive when it is day, which gives us 11 hours each day. Our plan was to make it in 3 days, which went very well on roads like this.
On our second day we hit this road, where our average speed was below 10km/h, because the holes were so deep. Several places it was easier to drive off the road than on the road due to the big holes.
The landscape quickly changed as we drove east leaving the Atlantic forest behind us, and for the first time we saw termite mounds
Some of them were almost as big as a me
Finding places to sleep is difficult if you don’t want to sleep at a gas station. The downsides of sleeping at a gas station is that it is right next to the road, which means noise from more or less traffic during the night. Big semitrucks that leave their engine on or if it is a refrigerated container, that has a compressor running 24/7. The upside is, that you don’t waste time driving a detour, which means that you are back on the road as soon as you leave the gas station the next morning. This gas station had a big area behind it, so we could park a good distance away from the road. Drinking water TIP: Most water in Brazil is portable, but they use chemicals to clean the water, which means that the taste of the water is not the best. Also some people can experience an upset stomach from the chemical rinsed water, if you are not use to drinking it (we felt it the first week, we were in Brazil). A lot of gas stations offer free and cold drinking water, that has been through a extra filter, which reduces the chemical taste Just look for metal water machines like the one in the right picture.
We still and will always prefer a small detour (20 km one-way) to wild camp in the nature. This place was on www.ioverlander.com, and it was just a small enough detour that we decided to go.
On the way we met these blue-and-yellow macaw, which is a large parrot. It can grown to a length of 76-86 cm and weigh between 0.9-1.5 kg. They are absolutely beautiful. Getting the change of seeing the animals in their natural habitat and experience the wildlife, is the main reason why we those to visit the northern Pantanal. Esben also took this photo (right picture): a bird of pray sitting on a branch, but check out its pray hanging right next to it – it is a snake (click on the picture to see it in full size ).
The wild camping was close to a waterfall, and we just got there in time to see it before sunset
We watched the sunset, and after two long days of driving it was refreshing to cool of in one of the smaller pools
Up the next morning at 5.45am when the sun was rising in hope of getting to Cuiaba today!
As we put more and more kilometers, we were met by these giant sculptures, which are symbols of the area, we have past through. From the left (1) Farming, (2) Armadillos and (3) Maté .
Instead off diving into Cuiaba late afternoon, we stopped at a gas station, that was marked in www.ioverlander.com as a place, where we could sleep for free. To our surprise there was no gas station, but instead a restaurant, where a lot of truckers would stop for the night. We quickly met the owner Claudio, who invited us to eat for free at his restaurant. This type of restaurant is typical for the Brazilian truck-stops. You pay for a plate, and then you can fill the plate once at the buffet. Thank you so much Claudio, we really liked the food.
As we got closer to Cuiaba the next small stands next to the road started to show up. It is always (almost) cheaper to buy food here, than at the supermarket, so we stopped to buy cheese, bread and fish.
Finally we could enter Cuiaba
We decided to visit the tourist information in the center of town, but when we finally got there, it was closed. Well it was not just closed for the day, but it looked like it had been closed for a while, which the locals confirmed. So much for getting more information about the Pantanal before going. There was no good wild camping in Cuiaba, so we drove to Santo Antonio do Leverger, where our Pantanal adventure would begin.