Diary Entry

With adventure in the wild Pantanal in mind, we reach Miranda at sunset and look for a nice place to rest at a highly acclaimed bush hostel. Featured in our survival app “iOverlander”.

It’s late, but I have to search a long time. However, where the place is supposed to be, we only find a closed fence and another small track, at the end of which I meet a group of Indio women who have no idea what I’m talking about or what I’m looking for.

The cages seem a bit out of place in the elaborately designed herb garden. The two are friendly, even though I just broke into their potential company premises. I explain at great length what we are looking for and the man gives me the number of the lady from Switzerland who owns the site. It quickly turns out that she gave up the premises two years ago and is now happily running a hotel in Bonito. We refuse to stay here anyway. The street is noisy and there is a smell of feces.

In the end I find the hostel right next to the Indio women, in a state of disrepair and inhabited by two guys who are making campfires there. It seems that the two want to open a chicken farm.

After a short search find another place on the map at Rancho Primavera. Bill welcomes us there. The place is very wide and, as before, there is nobody but us. Except for chickens and other animals, especially mosquitoes.

There are two bathrooms with toilets, one with a sink and both with a shower. Both are very disgusting and we can only bring ourselves to do the bare minimum there. We don’t shower even though we need to. Trash is everywhere. But the river next to it is very pretty and we can just see the last light of the hour disappearing on the purple horizon.

The night is surprisingly cold. In the morning we watch coypu, agoutis and many colorful birds next to our car fighting over a few crumbs. The nutria wins.

The river is particularly beautiful now in the early morning light. A light haze wafts over the water. It’s still cool.

The owners Carmen and Bill are very nice. But they are also very fond of President Bolsonaro, who they believe is a savior of Christianity, not corrupt, and a pro-poor advocate. Lula, the new old challenger, is completely corrupt and is sweeping the country into socialism, exposing Brazil to the same fate as Venezuela and Cuba.

I’m standing in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle and extracting pieces from a passionate speech by Carmen, in which I translate further details of Jair Bolsonaro’s unbelievable deeds with my barely existing knowledge of Portuguese. It’s time for us to leave.

In the center of the small town of Miranda we stock up on new groceries. We eat from the buffet of a large restaurant on the highway and Leon can let off steam in the children’s paradise. We leave late and move on.

It is afternoon as we head northwest towards the western Pantanal and the border with Bolivia.

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