Night safari

We drive through the unpaved road that leads from the pousada to the Transpantaneira. Sidneia and Julinho scan the bush on either sides with the torches. Suddenly Sidneia knocks on the roof of the drivers cabin. A Tarantula! How she was able to spot it is a mystery to me...
A few meters forward a marsh deer juvenile peeps through the branches, captured by light. Now we enter the Transpantaneira, direction Porto Jofre. The dark sky is lit only by moonlight, few solitary cars  or trucks pass by, in a cloud of dust, too fast for a road that often is crossed by animals.
On our right side a dark shadow runs into the bush, a Giant Anteater, we get a glimpse of his back while he runs away. Julinho jumps off the truck carrying Gianluigi with him. He gives rapid instructions: run when the Tamanduà is moving and stop when he stops, it is more difficult for him to smell human presence in this way and to hear the noise, he will explain us later. Gianluigi in his shorts and sandals sprints after Julinho into the darkness without a second thought. From the truck we see the dwindling light of J.'s small flashlight. After a while they return, unsuccessful.  But the emotion of having met the Giant Anteater in the dark desert night was not less.
Just a few seconds later  the truck stops abruptly and Julinho jumps off. On the road there is a Fer de Lance, a very poisonous snake, called boipeva or cascavel de charque here. It's not a cascavel but the name is due to her attitude: when menaced she recoils and hits the terrain with her tail.
She is on the roadside, clearly visible in the grass. Sidneia, Gianluigi, Aldo, Enrica, Bettina and I jump off the truck, the rest of the German family remains, It's not clear if they haven't understood or if they are afraid. After a while I explain in German to the man what we have seen and he decides to join us.
The Fer-de-Lance is one of the most poisounous Brazilian snakes, responsible for 80% of fatal snake attacks in Brazil. Her poison destroys the liver, causing internal bleeding. The signs on her skin remember the wings of a butterfly.
Julinho fearless as always gets very near to observe the snake, with Sidneia behind telling him anxiously to be careful.
We think for a moment of him and Gianluigi running in the same bush after the anteater...Gianluigi with his sandals..well they were lucky in not having met the snake.
On our way back we meet two raccoons  in a puddle on the roadside.
After the successful night safari Gianluigi, Enrica and Aldo go satisfied to sleep, Julinho and Walter organize a guitar session at a fire on a lawn not far away. The guys bring chairs and banks, after having seen Sidneia and me sitting down in the wasn't a problem at all for us..
Bettina offers a round of drinks to everybody and Walter and Julinho share the only guitar. Walter sings traditional songs and some more modern Brazilian stuff, Julinho delights his listeners with famous pop-rock oldies and we all join in. One after the other the night-staff members after finishing their turn join us. Suddenly in midst of a song Walter indicates a point not far away from us, a crab-eating fox was passing by unconcerned by the lively company.
It was a funny mixed bunch of people, two pantaneiro cowboys, a German family, mother, father and the two grown up daughters, a female guide and an Italo-German-Brazilian half-blood.
The German mother tells us about their big family gatherings where they used to play the guitar too, same thing 10.000 km away.
Around midnight we try to get a few hours sleep, tomorrow will be a very early wake up, 4.30 for a dawn walk to see the awakening of nature.

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