Brazil - Mato Grosso and São Paulo

June 2003

In June 2003 we traveled to Brazil, first joining a birding trip offered by Victor Emanuel Nature Tours in the state of Mato Grosso, and then spending a few days in the state of São Paulo to visit with Robert's cousin Bettina Ried and her family.  The VENT trip, led by Steven Hilty and Andrew Whittaker, started in Cuiabá, and first brought us to the Pantanal, the seasonally flooded lowlands that are the drainage of the Paraguay River.  There we stayed in the family-owned Hotel Fazenda Santa Thereza along the Río Pixaim, and one night at Pousada Piuval.  We then went on to the Planalto, or Brazilian tablelands, into the drier chapada habitat and the Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, staying at the beautiful Pousada Penhasco.  "Birds of the trip" included the spectacular hyacinth macaw and the (rare) yellow-faced amazon parrot.  At the conclusion of the VENT trip, we returned to São Paulo, and braved the drive out to the suburb of Valinhos to visit the Ried family.  Following are our photos from the the thumbnails for larger photos with captions.  Enjoy!

Click here for Liza's trip journal

Robert at Cuiaba
airport, Mato Grosso

Liza just off the plane

At a churrascaria -
to die for!

Brahmas on the

Pocone town square
and church (complete
with fake birds)

In Pocone

In Pocone

A portal to paradise?

Shaky, the pet
javelina at
Fazenda Santa Thereza, Pixaim

Liza in the dining

Rio Pixaim

Caiman on the river

Robert at Fazenda Santa
Thereza, Pixaim

Boating and birding
on the river

Water hyacinths...a big
pest actually, but

Jabiru - the 747 of
the bird world

Birding on the

VENT guides Steve Hilty
and Andrew Whittaker

A legume on steroids

Pretty yellow flowers

Birding on the

Sunset in the Pantanal

Sunrise, Fazenda Santa

Sunrise, Fazenda Santa

Robert at Rio Pixaim

Rio Pixaim

Forest birding


Andy holding the egg
of an undulated tinamou

Termite mounds

Strangler figs

Caiman near the boats

Robert at lunch

Don't try this at home!

More caiman...

Liza and Shaky

Liza and Robert with

Beautiful orchid at
the Fazenda

Robert still playing with

Can you say...golly I'm tired

Birding on the Rio

Early morning birding

Skull and wagon

Robert outside the
dining room

Nice morning clouds

Robert saying farewell
to Shaky

Pantanal vista

Pantanal vista

Another vista...this one
with Robert

Jabiru on a nest

Cattle on the

A true pantaneiro

A pantaneiro with his

Cattle on the road!

Crossing a transpantaneira

Just off the road...

Entrance to the

Pousada Piuval, also in
the Pantanal

Pousada Piuval

Liza finds her hammock

Robert at the pool,
Pousada Piuval


Pousada Piuval - our
room was at the end
on the right

Captive hyacinth macaws -
very bad, and sad

Columnar cactus

Liza finds another hammock

En route to the planalto,
the Brazilian tablelands

En route to the planalto,
the Brazilian tablelands

Chapada dos Guimaraes
National Park

Chapada dos Guimaraes
National Park

Chapada dos Guimaraes
National Park

Chapada dos Guimaraes
National Park

...still there

Pousada Penhasco -
our chalet

View from Pousada Penhasco

View from Pousada Penhasco

Watch out!

Notre Dame look-alike,

São Paulo traffic on
the Marginal Tiete

The Ried home in

Robert at the Rieds'

Butantan Institute - a
sign for Walter Reed

Robert with Martin and
Katja Ried


Bettina, Torsten, and
Robert in Campinas

Torsten and Robert

Liza and Robert with
Torsten and Bettina