Dozing polar bear, Indianapolis Zoo

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Sancho friend goes to the Pantanal -- Part One

January 2008 was a very important month for me. I was at a rehabilitation centre in Penrith in Cumbria. I was there for the second time in five months to aid in my recovery from a back injury I had suffered earlier that year at work. (I am a firefighter in Hertfordshire, England.) It was a Saturday afternoon the day before I went home and I was one of the last people at the centre (most had left or gone home for the weekend) and I had decided to watch tv in my room. There was a BBC Natural World programme on and I had seen several before and really enjoyed them.

Little did I know that the following forty six minutes were going to change my life forever!

I won't go into detail about my reaction to the programme, as this can be found in earlier posts (I posted under the name jim-irie) but I did think at the time and many times in the following weeks and months -- wow, what amazing animals the giant otters are and how much I would love to see them and the pantanal for real. 

When I googled Raising Sancho, I found my way to Trailhead's blog and in the following months my interest grew. Fortunately my wife was interested too, so we started looking into the trip of a lifetime.

We booked flights through a company I had used before and a hotel in Sao Paulo (for 1 night to break up the travelling) and in Rio for a week at the end of the trip.  The thing to remember is that most internal flights go through Sau Paulo and there are two airports in the city. We stayed our first night in Sao Paulo then got an internal flight to Campo Grande (pronounced grange). 

We met our pilot (Alex) at Campo Grande and he took us to the airstrip on the edge of town.


Next:  Flying to the Pantanal.


carolina said...

I can foresee many tears along this story.... mine, of course!! Looking forward for the rest of it!

jim-irie said...

Thanks for posting my story - I still look back on my magical time in Brazil with a big smile on my face!