Wildfoot’s very own Sara spent much of her last summer on a Brazil wildlife holiday, making notes of the best things about her trip. We’re detailing her experiences on the Wildfoot blog for your perusal. Today, Sara travels to Rio Azul and enjoys some Brazilian food.
Breakfast at 6 am may sound early, but it’s my latest start on the trip so far!
I spend my morning doing a spot of kayaking. It’s gentle, and the current is with us which means not much effort is needed. I spot the first sighting of caiman, white-throated toucan and capybara.
I say goodbye to friends at Cristalino and then we make our way back to Alta Floresta, where I am treated to my first real Brazilian Churrascaria! Their freshly grilled skewers of succulent meat are just too good to resist!
Thankfully, my waistline is saved from a third glutinous helping because Carlos is waiting to take us on our three-hour drive to Rio Azul, which will be our lodge for the night.
The drive is made easier by Carlos’s enthusiasm and knowledge of all things Amazon. Along the way, he gives a running commentary of how the area has evolved and what we can expect to see when we arrive. He also wins some brownie points in my book by spotting a tiny burrowing owl popping his head out of its burrow as we hurtle along the dirt track road.
When we arrive at Rio Azul, I realise instantaneously that this is a family run lodge that will offer great personal service. Carlos’s mother is the chef, and his father looks after the lodge upkeep, and I am made to feel like part of the family straight away.
We are immediately taken out on the trails in search of the local monkeys, of which there are five different species to look for. We stumble across some White-whiskered Spider Monkeys straight away, who seem to be in a very inquisitive and playful mood, rattling the branches above our heads in an attempt to hit us with the falling fruits. Further on, we encounter some white-nose bearded saki and the tufted capuchin monkeys.
I am delighted with what we have seen in such a short amount of time, yet Carlos is determined to get us out in the boat before sunset to try and photograph the macaws as they roost each evening in a nearby palm tree.
We are the only guests staying at the lodge, and this is how Rio Azul likes it, allowing them to give you their sole and undivided attention. Carlos’s mother makes our dinner and it’s quite spectacular with freshly caught fish and homemade bread to start and the most glorious banana, cream and chocolate layered dessert to finish. My goodness, I wish I was staying here longer!