Hiking and Horseback Riding in the Pantanal

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Along with the game drives in the Pantanal, we participated in other activities like hiking and horseback riding.  Our first morning in the Patanal, we took a game drive to the docks, a boat ride to an island, and then a hike in the woods, across a boardwalk and to a tower for a view of the sweeping swamp.

The most interesting part of our walk was crossing the boardwalk that hovered just inches over the water.  Here we saw snail eggs, Anhinga swimming under the water in search of fish, dragonflies and a variety of flowers and other birds.

In the woods, we spotted monkeys, tegus, bee hives, as well as many birds flitting from bush to bush.

The soft breeze cooled us in the stifling humidity, though standing still for very long left us sweating, especially on the sight-seeing tower.  We thought for sure, though more sunny, standing on the tall platform above the trees would provide a cooling wind.  Not so, it was sweltering, and we didn’t last long at the view point.

The boat ride which created our own breeze was lovely, and the calm waters promoted a peacefulness we all enjoyed until we shuddered at the thought of falling in or swimming in the shallow river full of piranha and likely anaconda.  We were thankful that our boat driver Oswaldo skippered us in the small skiff from one place to the other without any challenges.

On another morning in the Pantanal, we went horseback riding.  The horses were nicely groomed and plump enough.  They seemed to like a slow walk or a gallop.  They were well behaved and followed one another in a single file line like most tourist trail riding horses.

We started out riding through a swampy pasture that got wetter as the rain fell.  Soon we reached a dirt road that we followed for a while until the drizzle turned to a down pour and we detoured to the cover of some trees.  The rain was refreshing, so none of us minded it, though it was nice to keep from getting completely drenched as we went in search of macaw nest.

I suspect the mammals were taking cover from the rain too we only spotted peccary, caimans, and birds.  It was probably a good thing that we didn’t run into a jaguar on horseback anyway.  That would have made for an interesting experience.

The hiking and horseback riding we nice changes from the game drives that offered different scenery for lovely mornings.  ETB

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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

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