Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Long days of travel

Finding overnight overland stops, or camps, in Brazil. 

I think I've mentioned before that an unfortunate thing about overlanding in Brazil is the distances between attractions. It can be several long days of bad roads and too much traffic before you reach your next 'Brazilian attraction'. And, along the way, there'll be no official camping places and it can be difficult to find somewhere nice and quiet to rest overnight. But, we usually find something. 

After doing what we wanted to in the Brazilian Pantanal (and getting the new fuel pump), we travelled North to Bom Jardim. Bom Jardim (North of the Pantanal) is like Bonito (South of the Pantanal). It has clear rivers with lots of fish for snorkelling in, but it doesn't have the tourist infrastructure (or exorbitant prices) that Bonito has. 

There was no campsite in Bom Jardim, but we asked the man who owned (or seemed to) the Lagoa das Araras (lagoon of macaws) if we could stay there overnight and he agreed. (We have toilet and shower on board so we don't leave a mess). We also could have street camped across from the in-town swimming place.  

The next day we found a quite place to camp on Lake Manso, by following a dirt track to the lake. We had the place to ourselves apart from a couple of lovers who came down for a romantic dip late in the day. (Brazilians are so friendly, although it was obvious they'd come for a bit of private time they still came over to us to say hello.)

We were headed towards Brasilia, the capital of Brasil. To do so we passed through the spectacular scenery of Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Guimaraes. Only, we didn't realise there wouldn't be any stopping point and campsite (that we noticed) and we passed through without a single photo! We ended up resting the night at the scenic lookout of what is supposed to be the centre point of South America. (The view was hazy, I'm sure it's better at times). 

The next day it was very late before we found a place to rest overnight. It was a river beach on the river that divides two cities: Barra do Garças and Aragarças. The sign said no camping, but we don't really camp: We just park! It seemed like a good campsite, but the venue across the river had loud live music until about 4am. I couldn't even go across for a dance.... There was a river in the way!

Aside from there being nowhere else to stop, I'd wanted to do a lot of miles in these few days. Why? Because there's a special restaurant just west of Brasilia (at Pirenopolis) just it's only open on weekends. Fazenda Babilônia is the place, but it'll get it's own blogpost. 

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