On the final day of Sara’s Brazil wildlife holiday, she spots an anteater and bids a fond farewell to the country she’s called home for the last 12 days. Read her final journal entry right here on the Wildfoot travel blog.
Shock horror: it’s another early start! We head out for a morning drive at 5.30 am before breakfast, and spot some playful coatis and a troupe of capuchin monkeys, but unfortunately, the giant anteater escapes us once again.
On returning to the lodge for a last hearty Brazilian breakfast, we spot a pair of great rufous woodpeckers scratching around in a huge pile of dung with their long bills.
It seems a shame to sit inside to eat, so I opt for a bit of alfresco dining on the veranda, determined not to miss out on any action, and I’m rewarded with dozens of hyacinth macaws and blue-fronted parrots joining us.
Without the cool river breeze, I soon notice the ever increasing temperature – it’s up to 38 degrees Celsius now – but refuse to be deterred, so suggest to Jose that we take a short hike on one of the many trails around the lodge.
However, it seems that the heat of the day is also taking its toll on the wildlife, with very little to see or hear apart from a couple of black tegu lizards seeking shelter in a fallen tree trunk.
We admit defeat and return to the lodge for a very-much-needed cold drink, and decide to enjoy our surroundings from the shade of the veranda like our fellow guests. After lunch, we head off to visit a nearby lodge called Pousada Rio Claro, in search of the black-headed parakeet for which it is famous.
The access road to the lodge is great for birding, passing alongside a small stream and through several sections of deciduous forest, where we were able to spot tiger herons, wattled jacanas, rusty-backed antwren and roseate spoonbills among many others.
As we park our car at the reception, a flock of screeching black headed parakeets pass us overhead, as if on cue. Although my mission had been accomplished, it seemed too rude to turn around without speaking to the owner and accepting their kind offer of a cold drink.
The owner seemed thrilled to have a captive audience that he could tell about the anaconda and jaguar that were seen on the grounds of the lodge only the day before by a group of Japanese tourists, but unfortunately, neither could show themselves again during my visit.
Feeling refreshed, we head back to Pousa Alegre to pack, as I leave tonight for Cuiaba, ready for the early morning flight back to the UK. Once again, dinner is delicious and only bettered by the warmth and humour of the owner.
We finally load up the car and make a start on our three-hour journey back to the city when, all of a sudden, Jose slams on the brakes and shouts the infamous word “anteater”! I cannot believe it!
Right in front of us, a giant anteater crosses the road, as though waving us a fond farewell. My trip is complete!
I came with such high expectations in terms of wildlife, but they have been exceeded. I just cannot wait to return!