tirsdag 21. april 2009

The Pantanal

After Foz do Iguacu we took the bus inland and a visit to the Pantanal was next on our list. 
We had a 4 day planned trip and our guide was a crazy local guy with no fears, looking for caymens and snakes for us to watch up close..

We were waiting for a horse ride when our guide came back with this anaconda that he caught in a little  
pond when he was on the horse. He was all excited and came back to show us. And we all got to feel and hold it (well, Anny held the snake herself, after these pictures!). 

The Pantanal is a tropical wetland. It is one of the world's largest wetlands of any kind. Most of it lies within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, but it extends into Mato Grosso and portions of Bolivia and Paraguay, sprawling over an area estimated at between 140,000 square kilometres (54,000 sq mi) and 195,000 square kilometres (75,000 sq mi). Various subregional ecosystems exist, each with distinct hydrologicalgeological and ecological characteristics. 
About 80% of the Pantanal floodplains are submerged during the rainy seasons, nurturing an astonishing biologically diversecollection of aquatic plants and helping support a dense array of animal species.
The name "Pantanal" comes from the Portuguese word pântano, meaning wetland, bog, swamp, quagmire or marsh. By comparison, the Brazilian highlands are locally referred to as the planalto, plateau or, literally, high plain (Wikipedia). 

One day we took a long boat ride from where we were staying at night, so on the way back we got to watch the sunset. 

All photos; Beate Bjørnevik. February 2004. 

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