Picture yourself getting up at 3:30 AM, taking a quick gulp of black coffee and leaving – still in the dark – on an army-style 4WD truck built in the 1940’s. The destination? A place that you still don’t know if it’s reachable. When will you come back? Theoretically tonight, but…
Therefore, bring along everything that might be necessary: besides the “regular” working tools (in my case all of the photo paraphernalia), remember the spare car battery, the jack, chain, flashlight, wooden boards (might help in case we get stuck), shovel, food, hammocks, mosquito nets, clothes, water, walkie-talkie, fuel, tarp.
A nightmare? A sacrifice? Not at all, it’s just another sensational shooting day in the Pantanal! This story was written while I was based at Fazenda Rio Negro, on a photo assignment for the Conservation International, where I was photographing some of the region’s Private Reserves of the Natural Heritage for a catalog. This was the last trip, when I took photos of the places that still lacked good images.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, the days are long, it’s tiring and requires a lot of good humor plus adventurous spirit. But it provides indescribable moments, which make me feel privileged. First, because the landscapes and scenes and animals that I have the chance of seeing are just sensational. Second, because the people who I end up having contact with in order to do my job are as cool as the place! Spending hours away from any sign of civilization, having lunch at the edge of a lagoon with the sounds of birds and admiring the landscape – all of this brings me a lot of good sensations. Even if on the way back our car gets stuck and I get eaten by mosquitoes while helping my buddy out...
Lunch time. No spoon? No problem! Just improvise one
using the leaf of a bromeliad.
PHOTO: © Daniel De Granville, 2006
* It’s worth explaining that such things will happen solely on special working occasions. Whoever intends to visit the Pantanal on a leisure trip will sure receive the same hospitable treatment which is one of the region’s highlights, but at the same time will find much more comfort to visit these places with safety and tranquility.