Alta Floresta to Cristalino Lodge, (1) Brazil
When: November 2019 Weather: Hot. 25-35C
Nikon P900. Leica M10P 35 summilux.
After 3 nights in the Pantanal, we drove back to Cuiaba to catch our connecting flight to Alta Floresta, a small town in Amazonia from which we would be picked up to go by car and boat to the Cristalino Lodge on the Rio Cristalino. We were promptly met and brought to a nearby local sister hotel called Floresta Amazonica to do our check in. The drive to the Teles Pires River took just over an hour as we stopped a few times on the dirt road near the river to shoot some birds…..it was a good sign of things to come….
Not long after we got onto the dirt road, we saw some birds on the wooden pillars adjacent to the road….our driver and guide were most accommodating of my request to STOP and let me shoot…..
There were several burrowing owls which thought we were quite interesting to look at ..they were friendly and let us get quite close
Beautiful burrowing owl
A Guira or Punk rock cuckoo also joined us
By this time the rain started coming down..it didn’t seem to faze this American kestrel
we also saw this magnificent fellow..
A stunning Aplomado falcon….a lifer
We finally arrived at the river bank where our boat, guide and boatmen waited to take us to the lodge…
A beautiful butterfly greeted us
The boat ride along the Teles Pires river was just like something out of a National Geographic documentary…tranquil, scenic, with nary another soul in sight
We soon arrived at the point where the Cristalino river with its black water joined the Teles Pires river with its brown water….
A smart white winged swallow watched us
as did a southern rough winged swallow
An Anhinga or snake bird
and then up in the trees by the river, a colourful flash….
A beautiful white throated toucan! Classified as vulnerable.
Arriving at the sundeck of Cristalino Lodge
A rustic staircase brings you up to terra firma
Cristalino Jungle Lodge
And a path that leads to the restaurant and the bungalows
Our accommodation looked like this….currently the only negative thing I have to say about this lodge is the lack of airconditioning which makes the heat unbearable in the afternoon….I’m told they are planning airconditioning soon so I’d wait till this is done before going….
After settling into the room I explored the area around our room….and came across this familiar friend….the curl crested aracari which we had seen in the Pantanal
Curl crested aracari
silver beaked tanager
A shy blue dacnis peeked out
the black fronted nunbirds again made an appearance
Blue gray tanager
Blue gray tanager
and then a spectacular splash of blue…..a glimpse of a splendid spangled cotinga before he disappeared
another bird then appeared..
A lovely Lettered aracari!
This was our trip today…from the riverbank at the bottom of the map where we were picked up by boat, crossing the Teles Pires river into the Cristalino River and ending at the Lodge in the middle of the map.
Although we spent most of the day travelling, the journey from Alta Floresta to Cristalina was most interesting and the Amazonian Forest held much promise for our days ahead….