Tuiui (source)
We just got out of the Pantanal, where we spent 4 days. We had a great time - we went horseback riding, fishing for piranha, cayman hunting, and on an all day safari. We saw lots of birds, including blue macaw and toucans and a huge giant stork, called in Portuguese "tuiuiu", which is really fun to say. This bird is 1.5 meters tall (about 4-5 feet!) It is crazy! We also saw many, many caymans, a giant river otter and many capyvara, the largest rodent in the world, which looks like a huge guinnea pig and SWIMS! They have crazy animals. It was great!

We were hoping to see an anaconda and a giant anteater and a jaguar...or an anaconda eating an anteater and both of them being eaten by a jaguar... but it was not meant to be. We did see an anteater named Phillipe when we got to the border town of Corumba. It was really cool. He was really big and has no teeth but will suck on your fingers and lick you with his weird tongue. He does have large claws, but is basically like a big funny looking dog. (pics will be put online later)

Now we are in Bolivia. We just arrived today after a long (23 hours) ride on the Death Train, which goes from Quijarros (the border) to Santa Cruz. The ride was good, although long, and we did not have any scary situations. The reason it is called the Death Train is because apparently in the 80s they used to carry a lot of contraband in the inside of the train and the people would ride on the top. The train used to derail a lot and many of the people on the top got killed. Hence the name. But now it does not derail as much and I did not see anyone riding on the top (or any contraband *wink, wink*)
Next stop, the Jesuit Mission Circuit, which is a few hours East of the town of Santa Cruz, where we are now. We are excited to be in Bolivia, but it is going to be hard to adjust to the temperature after being in the warmth of Brazil for so long! Where we are going in the next couple weeks, it gets way below freezing! Oh and now that I finally learned a few words in Portuguese, I have to switch my brain back to Spanish! Oh mio dios...

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