I didn’t expect that on a trip with a baby we would see a jaguar in the wild. We didn’t either, but we came very close and I still secretly hope that this is a unique opportunity.
From our spot next to the Jaguar’s camp, we continue north on the gravel road and deeper into the Pantanal.
We still find caimans at some ponds. Sometimes you have to look twice to spot the big animals in the green pools. But most of the time there are so many of these crocodiles lying on the edge sunning themselves that we can see them from afar.
Rickety wooden bridges over such caiman-infested waters bring a whole new thrill.
We come to a fork again near a place called Nhecolândia, which in reality turns out to be a small farmhouse. On the left, the track leads towards the highway and to Corumbá, on the right, the track leads into the unknown. We drive to the right. It is disputed straight ahead and only gauchos with their herds of cattle and construction vehicles meet in the distance. According to Google Maps, there should be a wild Pantanal full of ponds and water holes to the left and right of the road, but instead we see fences and cattle.
The road suddenly ends at a sandy track where construction vehicles are waiting. We can continue the route, but only to slowly shovel through the sand in first gear. It doesn’t make sense and we turn back. We will have to cross the Rio Paraguay and experience an incredibly beautiful farewell to the Pantanal in the middle of its marshes.