On the road to Porto Jofre

I wake up at 5 o’clock without alarm…you get used
quickly to living according to the sun here. I hadn’t a watch with me, it would have been useless anyway. I had lost my relationship to time somewhere inbetween Poconè and the Jaguar Ecological Reserve…in Cuiabà it’s one hour earlier than Rio, there’s the matter of summertime (watches are switched forward of one hour, but it depends on the states) and to make it worse (even if it makes sense of course) in Porto Jofre they maintain the time of the sun, but in some lodges not. Well…I had given up understanding and turned off anything similar to a watch.
After a nice breakfast
, Julinho keep’s encouraging me to eat, he says we won’t be getting food until tonight. It turns out he asked Milton to prepare a pile of delicious sandwiches, so far for the food..
We hit the road again for the last 35 km of the Transpantaneira. We stop shortly at another abandoned research station of IBAMA on the road. There are enormous mango-trees and they normally are home to some great owls. Julinho tries to call them, with no luck.
On the way he ‘instructs’ me of on how to behave at Porto Jofre; he needs some time and concentration to prepare the boat with everything we will need for the next days, in synthesis he needs to be left alone for awhile..
Porto Jofre is the last outpost of so-called civilization. In reality there is only a big hotel that cateres mostly to fishermen on the river and Fazenda Sao Bento nearby, but there is nothing you could name a village or anything similar. At this time of the year it is quite deserted because the fishing season is almost over. Soon the Piracema begins and fishing is prohibited. Piracema is the name given to the period of the year when fish reproduce. From October to March the fish swim upstream to lay their eggs and reproduce. Thus the season is critical for the maintenance of fish populations in the waters of the local rivers and lakes.
While Julinho prepares the boat I wander around the hotels grounds, taking some photos. It is situated on the river bank of Rio Cuiabà, that divides Mato Grosso from Mato Grosso do Sul,and confined in the back by a beautiful lake full of giant water-lilies. A group of Tuiuiu’s fight over a snake, two horses lazily graze and lots of birds fill up the air with their singing. A fierce sun comes out of the clouds and I find a little shade under a tree on the small wooden bridge on the lake. A small funny bird jumps from one water-lily to the other. Suddenly I see some agua-pès moving in a strange way..the head of a capybara emerges, looks at me and rapidly floates away with it’s veil of lily-pad.

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