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  • Day24

    Bonito - 31 July to 2 August 2015

    August 1, 2015 in Brazil ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

    This town is awesome. It's a tourist destination centered around a bunch of natural springs. The water is crystal clear and vegetation and fish are everywhere. The locals take great care to keep it natural and clean....so much so, that you can't even wear sunscreen in the water. We decided to swing by because a lot of other travelers raved about it. We also had some flexibility with our schedule...plus, the Brazilian guy at the consulate in Atlanta actually told us about it when we got our visas....so we thought, "why not???"

    So we arrive in Bonito and find accommodations...we initially tried to stay where our Russian associates from the Pantanal were staying, but that hostel was full. The guy working the desk was kind enough to call around and find us a room....Jaime fell in love with the city right then. We hadn't had that much customer service help in a while and the language barrier in Brazil is definitely harder than the previous countries. Portuguese is unlike anything we have ever heard before. It sounds like gibberish to us and we can't make it out...

    Anyway, like I said, he found us a place.....unfortunately, it was about a 25 minute walk away. So we set off with the plan of checking places on the way, since we were tired and hungry...luckily for us, we found a cool one that had what we needed (a/c, wifi, breakfast, etc). Bonus though....they spoke English. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner...

    We also got a cheaper room because we scheduled our tours through them. Everything was super easy. They even helped call and schedule our follow on transportation.

    So we decided to do a cave tour in the morning and a snorkeling tour in the afternoon. There was also a winter festival going on in town, so we were excited to check that out....after we booked our tours and were settled in our room, we took the owner of the hotel's suggestion and headed to a specific restaurant. Short version - it was delicious. The area is known for fish and we got fish, local beers and Jaime got a dessert. I say Jaime got a dessert because she did not want to share it. She allowed Keith a few bites, but she criticized each fork full he got and after his second bite, decided to commandeer the whole thing. Once completely in her clutches, she ate the rest of it like a prisoner expecting someone was going to try and steal it. She was definitely guarding it from attack....it's almost like she thought she was going to go hungry. Apparently she forgot that Keith had shared the rest of the food evenly. It would appear that shared portions don't count when it comes to dessert.

    Anyway, we headed back to the room after dinner and got ready for the next day.

    The cave tour was kind of cool...we were under the impression that we'd get to walk around a cave with a crystal clear blue lake at the bottom. Instead, we walked down some stairs and looked at the lake from a platform. The whole tour was in Portuguese, so we didn't understand anything. Luckily for us we met a Brazilian guy who went to college in Hannibal, Missouri (I know....super random huh...)...

    So we made friends with him and his new wife (they were on their honeymoon) and we actually made plans to meet them for dinner later that night. The guy was also super excited about a famous Brazilian band playing later that night and he said we should check them out....so we traded contact info and went on our way....

    After our tour dropped us off at our hotel, we grabbed some lunch and got ready for our snorkeling tour. Again, the tour was in Portuguese and we didn't understand anything. There were a bunch of old guys in our group and they took turns trying to interpret for us. The tour guide would talk for 5 minutes and one of the old guys would tell us "don't stand on the bottom"...or "Stay in a single file line". I'm pretty sure we didn't get the full translation. Regardless though, they were nice guys that tried. Aside from the fact that they were atrocious swimmers and kept stirring up the bottom, they were very helpful.

    The water was incredibly clear and there were fish everywhere. I wish we had underwater pics to show the clarity, but it was the clearest water either one of us had ever seen...at least till the old Brazilian guys stirred up the bottom.

    At the end of the tour we thanked the guys for helping us and that was when he informed us that they were in a band and they were playing the festival later. They invited us to come check them out...turns out, it was the same band the guy earlier had talked about. Apparently they are a big deal in Brazil, but we had never heard of them and even now, we have no idea who they are...oh well...

    So we got done with the tour and made plans to go to dinner with the couple we met earlier in the day.

    As an aside, Keith had not shaved his face for about a month...and both he and Jaime thought that enough was enough...his face is now freshly shorn.

    So we met the couple at the festival and had a delicious dinner. It's amazing how much better an experience can be when you know the language...or you know someone who does....

    We ended up buying their dinner as a way to say thank you for helping us. We were also joined at dinner by the owner of our hotel and his girlfriend. Drinks and a good time were had by all....too many drinks actually....

    Keith woke up with a headache and the 'grumpy muffin' moniker returned. As another aside...it really is a terrible name that should be banned and never repeated. And trust me...there's no bias on the writer's part at all...

    Alas though, our time in Bonito has come to an end. We are now sitting in the Campo Grande bus station waiting for an all night bus to Iguazu Falls....should be fun....

    Note - you may notice that we haven't posted pics in a while...I'm not sure why, but for some reason they won't load. We'll keep trying....but just use your imagination for now.
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