Day 17 – Living in the Pantanal

So it turns out I would not survive living in the Pantanal. Apparently six months a year are like living in hell – I feel like I am there already and desperate to escape.

Yesterday evening we created a little cinema with our hammocks and watched a film on the laptop together which was nice, but soon after the itching began. It was just an odd twitch here and there to start with, but by 2am I felt like I had been dipped in chilli itching powder. It was awful.

The night in the hammock itself I don’t think would have been too bad. I had the knack of how to lay and although I had to get up in the night to change as it was FREEZING, I think I would have been alright. The itching however was a different kind of hell and I think I was lucky to get 2 hours sleep between the itching and the burning. 

I woke up looking like I had got hives overnight. They were everywhere, even covering my face. I’ve had an allergic reaction too (of course!) so everything is swollen which is awful. I think my ears are the most painful, there are times where I could cry with the pain.

Antihistamine, ibuprofen, paracetamol, more bug repellent and bite cream later I felt marginally better and got myself ready for our morning horse ride. I was taking no chances….I wore jeans, a long top, a hoody and my buff. Safe to say I was roasting alive.

The ride was peaceful from what I remember but I’ll be honest, I don’t remember too much. I felt very light headed and out of it when we got back. I think the heat and my layers had got to me. I went straight to my hammock, drunk some water and slept until lunch.

At 3pm our guide came and got us. We were heading out to a large lake nearby to do some fishing for dinner. Layered up again (eesh I don’t think I’ve ever been this hot in my entire life!), I grabbed my rod made of bamboo and joined the troops. 

At the lake we were given our bait of beef and told to go and catch piranha for our dinner! 
This seemed an interesting challenge, especially with the number of caiman around but after about 10 minutes you got used to being so close to them and watching when they were trying to steal your catch!

I caught 4 trout….No piranha’s from me, but luckily other people in the group did, so trout and piranha for dinner!

I skipped the night walk tonight as I have had more than my fair share of mosquito bites and I’m feeling pretty rough. I did however make an appearance at the bonfire this evening and had a few drinks and a few songs. A perfect end to a not so perfect day.

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