May 25, 2006
Remanso to Versalles Canoe Trip Day 6
For a change of pace, we started our third day of canoing at sunrise. A few hours later, we pulled up to a small settlement on the Brazilian side. The owner and only resident told us that we'd see an estancia on the Brazilian side in around six hours. We made that our goal for the day.
Today was the hottest, sunniest day on the river yet. All remnants of the storm that hit the area a few days ago were gone. It was a long day of canoing where we saw not one other boat and only an occasional macaw flew overhead.
Finally, late in the afternoon, we spotted a small pig farm in Bolivia, followed immediately by the estancia we were expecting in Brazil. The estancia looked nicer so we stayed there.
It was a good decision. Not only could we stay there for the night, but we could even use their guest rooms for free. The rooms were nicer than most hotel rooms I've stayed at recently with comfortable beds, running water, flushing toilets, and even electricity at night. My only complaint was that the mosquitoes were horrendous, but as soon as it got dark, a guy walked around the whole place with a fumigator!
Coconut trees were everywhere with far more ripe coconuts than the fifteen cattle farmers who lived there could possibly eat, so we cut a few down and had coconut juice with our dinner. Afterwards, Ambrosia, the man who originally showed us around the place, and Marcus, the farm's boss, stopped by and invited us to eat their dinner as well! We sat around a large dinner table and ate with the cowboy employees with grins from ear to ear and stomachs overflowing. I couldn't believe the hospitality we were receiving. Then again, we were probably only the second, third, and forth foreigners to visit this place after a Spanish kayaker who stopped by a few weeks ago.
While we were eating dinner, it occurred to all three of us that we should stay here another day. We could probably make it to Versalles in three long days, and with six days until the party, we figured that we'd be doing the place a disservice if we didn't relax, eat coconuts, and enjoy the gaucho lifestyle for another day.
The photo album for this entry is here.