I know you probably have a lovely idea of Brazil, bathed in constant warm sub-tropical sunshine, Well, you know what comes with sun in the tropics? Yes, rainstorms.
We planned two days in Bonito, the eco-tourism capital of Mato Grosso do Sul; one to enjoy the town, do a little laundry, check out a bar or cafe or two. The other was set for a visit to Estancia Mimosa, a country estate filled with woodland and hidden waterfalls. The photos online looked stunning.
The night before, as the storm rumbled around town, rivers running down the streets and into the gutters, we thought ‘Ah, it’ll pass’. When we woke up at 6am, the rain sounded heavier, if anything. But there were still a couple of hours until our pick up. ‘It says here it’s due to stop by 12’.
So we reluctantly pulled the rain macs from the bottom of the case and added them to our day bags, determined to swim in a waterfall or two.
The van arrived. “Que chuva” said the driver, as he dived out of the van to pick up the next day-trippers. As the minivan pulled up at the ranch entrance, we made a run for the shelter of the welcome lodge. Inside a steaming pot was cooking, full of fresh doce do leite (dulce de leche), ready for the lunch later.
Still we pushed on with the waterfall trail. We couldn’t get any wetter really. The falls really are pretty and the chance to swim in a couple was good. A couple of toucans also spotted along the way.
Estancia Mimosa has a good eco-tourism record and I’m sure it would be stunning in the right weather.
We headed back into town early afternoon, heading for the great little cafe we’d found the day before for one of the best hot chocolates I’ve had; dark and strong. As the storm finally eased we wandered around the small grid of streets that make up the centre, spotting quirky phone booths, weird fountains and street art. An excellent pizza at Zapi Zen (seek it out) almost made us feel human again.