Snorkeling the Rio Prata

Trip Start Sep 27, 2005
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Trip End Mar 07, 2006


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Monday, February 20, 2006

From the Pantanal we travelled down to the town of Bonito. This is a sleepy town that has little but some beautifully clear rivers nearby which are great for snorkeling. Andy, Veronica, Jen, Georia, Becky, Emma and I were picked up from the hostel at 7:30am and taken off to a ranch on the Rio Prata. Here we had to get into a wet suit before being driven down to a short walk through the forest and down to the river. Along the walk the others saw some spider monkeys and birds but I had to remove my glasses and only saw some blurs in the trees. Once at the river it was everybody in for a gentle float down the river. With the mask on I can see clearly and so it was easy to see the fish in the river and the vegetation. We saw alot of fish mostly about a foot long but some over 3 feet long which I was told were going to be in the lunchtime buffet. We also encountered mosquito fish. I found these as I was looking under the surface at some bubbling sand, water rises from an underground river into the one we were in and causes the sand to bubble up, very strange. The fish came up to my face and then started pecking my lips and removing the dead skin. The others came over and the fish started packing at peoples legs and taking the dead skin of there. Not the best way of exfoliating but not an unpleasant experience.

We snorkeled in 2 rivers the first was a pleasant 24C and the second one was a cool 21C. The difference felt enormous but we were soon used to it. THe second river was much deeper than the first, about 25 feet, but had a lot more fallen trees to circumnavigate. Along here we came across some small monkeys that were very close to the river and basically gave up looking under the surface and concentrated on the life around us so we also saw a couple of cayman and a family of otters.

After the float down stream it was back to the ranch for a good buffet lunch and then back to the hostel for a play in the pool and at the pool table. I was beaten 3-1 by Jen and had to buy a bottle of wine for dinner but I got an ice cream for the one that I won.

The next day I hoped to spend some time updating my weblogue, catch up with emails, etc. but the town of Bonito was shut as it was a Sunday and I had to spend it by the pool reading a book, itīs a tough life travelling!
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