The experience was a shock. Most of the Pantanal has already been conquered by the farmers and the second chance after the withdrawal from the heart of the Pantanal a few days earlier is also wasted. However, driving to the other end of the Pantanal and attempting it from the town of Cuiaba would cost us another two weeks of driving. The road here only leads to Bolivia. We decide to see more nature there.
We return to the fork we previously took to the right into the unknown and choose the path towards Corumbá.
We reach Porto da Manga on the Río Paraguay, which we already know from Asunción. There is no bridge there, just an expensive ferry.
Before we can even think about taking these, Sara sounds the alarm: Leon is hungry. Stop. Now. I pull out and park next to a broken cargo house. Sara prepares Leon’s dinner and I watch the ferry. Vehicles, like us, only come from the east and the ferryman only seems willing to cross the river from the west when there is more than one vehicle waiting on the bank. A pickup also wants to go over, we join them and the ferry comes.
We only drive a few kilometers in search of a place to stay for the night. Then we agree on a place to sleep at the head of a collapsed bridge. The sun sets over the Pantanal. A tree is in blossom and huge bumblebees collect nectar there. Two nests of green parakeets have been built in the branches and the parents are complaining about our presence.
I enjoy the view over the big swamp and the evening concert of birds and frogs – the joy doesn’t last long because King Kong and Godzilla seem to bump into each other in the car.
Leon stirs up terror and Sara gets the crisis over tiny bugs and mosquitoes that got into the cabin via the fan. In the end the war is over and then I can go out into the night after all.
There I can watch the fantastic starry sky with the Milky Way and the fireworks of the fireflies. Tomorrow we will finally reach civilization again and arrive in Corumbá.
The route to Corumbá is more varied than expected. The route leads over a very bumpy road through a small mountain range that could be seen from a distance and already mistaken for Bolivia.