Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

February 22, 2010

Brazil – Pacajá day 1

Filed under: February — Hennie van Heerden @ 9:40 pm

For years Hans had been asking me to join him on a trip to Brazil. As he’s working for a Brazilian Timber company (FSC certified, of course), Cikel Brasil Verde Madeiras Ltda, he visits this beautiful country frequently. And as he had to go to one of the company’s mills in the middle of the Amazonian rainforest, there surely would be enough to photograph. It turned out to be fantastic.

Pacajá is a little village in the middle of nowhere. They have schools, little markets, churches, sports fields, all provided by the company. I was really impressed! Of course, almost everybody who lives there is employed with the company. Going there means flying with a tiny aircraft over the vast Brazilian Rainforest. From the air is seems endless… The green carpet is every once in a while interrupted by meandering rivers and and swamp like areas (it’s rainy season in Brazil now). White Egrets flying beneath you over the tops of the trees. It’s breathtaking. The landing strip consists of a long dirt road but the pilot put us down more gently than many touchdowns I’ve experienced with commercial airlines on smooth tarmac.

The first impression of Pacajá is one of color. All the houses are painted in different pastel colors: pinks, yellows, lilas and blues. Combined with the background of huge Mango trees it’s idyllic and pittoresk. Children in various stages of clothing are running around everywhere.
Immediately after arriving I went on board of Benito Dosoura’s little boat and he showed me around the Rio Pacajá. It was already late but we managed to see quite some birds, several of them unknown to me, like the Smooth-Billed Ani to the right and the little white bird with beautiful bright blue wing feathers to the left that I haven’t been able to identify yet.
Others were not so hard to recognize, like the beautiful Scarlet Macaw at the top. Floating through the little side creeks was heaven; the silence is unbelievable! Every once in a while we passed a little house on the banks of the river where the most adorable little children came out to see who was passing by. I enjoyed each minute!
Our little tour ended on the tiny jetty of the village where Hans was waiting with a lovely cold beer and children were having their evening bath. Fantastic to see them splashing around in the last light.

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