Alta Floresta to Cristalino Lodge, (1) Brazil

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….

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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…..

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There were several burrowing owls which thought we were quite interesting to look at ..they were friendly and let us get quite close

Burrowing owl

Burrowing owl

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Beautiful burrowing owl

 

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A Guira or Punk rock cuckoo also joined us

American Kestrel

By this time the rain started coming down..it didn’t seem to faze this American kestrel

Aplomado Falcon (2)

we also saw this magnificent fellow..

Aplomado Falcon

A stunning Aplomado falcon….a lifer

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We finally arrived at the river bank where our boat, guide and boatmen waited to take us to the lodge…

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A beautiful butterfly greeted us

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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

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We soon arrived at the point where the Cristalino river with its black water joined the Teles Pires river with its brown water….

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A smart white winged swallow watched us

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as did a southern rough winged swallow

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An Anhinga or snake bird

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and then up in the trees by the river, a colourful flash….

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A beautiful white throated toucan! Classified as vulnerable.

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Arriving at the sundeck of Cristalino Lodge

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A rustic staircase brings you up to terra firma

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Cristalino Jungle Lodge

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And a path that leads to the restaurant and the bungalows

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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….

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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

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Curl crested aracari

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silver beaked tanager

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A shy blue dacnis peeked out

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the black fronted nunbirds again made an appearance

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Blue gray tanager

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Blue gray tanager

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and then a spectacular splash of blue…..a glimpse of a splendid spangled cotinga before he disappeared

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another bird then appeared..

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A lovely Lettered aracari!

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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….

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