When we first started planning this trip, Brazil’s Pantanal and Brasilia were always intended destinations. As we read traveling blogs about the Pan-American Highway, we were always curious about why people would choose to skip large sections of Brazil in favor of the more western route along the Pacific coast of South America. As we made our way toward Brasilia, we began to ponder the possibilities of seeing the areas in the northeast. In the end, we decided to make the drive all the way to Belem, the first capital city of Amazonia – a city near the heart of the Amazon River delta. We had come this far, why not make the 1200 mile journey to see what we would find. Along the way, we encountered the enchanting waterfalls of Chapada dos Veadeiros and Chapada dos Guimarães, spent time splashing in sparkling turquoise lakes of Mateiros, drove the rich red dirt roads and wild camped in Jalapão (the site of an entire series of Survivor episodes), met one of the first Brazilian hang gliding pilots (you will notice that he and Jorge are of similar eras…late 1970’s pilots), found an interesting variety of animals, birds and insects (the locusts were as large as small birds!), and spent many nights in the famous Brazilian postos (gas stations that provide overnight services for truckers and travelers alike). We made fresh salsa by candle light on the back gate of the truck, drank whiskey by the fire (even in 100 degree weather, we needed the fire…it kept the mosquitoes away), and thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful colors of this remote region of northern Brazil.
Today’s theme – Choose a different path…it almost never disappoints.