Around Jaguar Ecological Reserve

‘You wanna
drive the jeep?’What?? I haven’t been driving any vehicle since I took my driving license…and that was quite a while ago..but let’s try! I try to do my best on the road and…. on the wooden bridges, just hoping Julinho wouldn’t be distracted by something happening on the side of the road.
We manage to get to Jaguar Ecological Reserve…where a desperate sweating manager, Milton, is trying to get the kitchen work fixed…Maria, the girl we had left earlier at the bar is his kitchen-help and of course she hasn’t arrived.
After a quick shower we jump on the jeep for another drive around. We start talking about
poor Milton when I stop Julinho and ask him why don’t we stay and help him? With a big grin on his face he says he had had the same thought but didn’t have the courage to propose it to me…so we stay and in the shortest time the dishes are all washed and we leave a happy Milton behind.
Our first stop is at an abandoned research post where we look for the Urutau (the Great Potoo) a very strange nocturnal predator bird that during the day camouflates high in the trees and is difficult to be spotted. There it was – Julinho sees it through his binoculars, it takes me actually some time to recognize it myself… I'm grateful about its immobility. It looks like part of the tree, even the eyes are only opened slightly to control what we are doing. At night the Urutau is sighted because his eyes reflect light.
We leave the jeep on a dust road that runs to a private fazenda for a walk. There is
dense vegetation on both sides of the road, with high trees. The only noise is the singing of innumerous birds. We see two small baby-snakes…..
As the sun goes down a kind of symphony grows out of the dark forest, the volume gets higher and higher. I glimpse at Julinho who keeps on talking imperturbably…maybe I’m going crazy and I don’t dare as
king him what this noise is about. Loose thoughts cross my mind, it sounds like thousands of sirens, airplanes… but I’m in the middle of nowhere…there is no electricity apart the generators. When I wake up to reality again I ask what it is and understand that it’s the howler monkey’s shouting….wow…I just imagined a forest with thousands of howling monkeys, quiet a vision. Later I’ll find out it’s the frogs singing…still impressive anyway...we will hear it again at night on our way back on the Transpantaneira near the Bararas Bar. I brought an I-pod to record these sounds…but of course it was in the jeep..
Back to the pousada we have a shower and then dinner. Maria has just arrived and the kitchen is late on it’s timetable. We chat awhile with a group of other guide’s staying at the lodge. After dinner we just relax in the hammock’s in front of the rooms and then go to bed early.

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