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  • Dawnelle Salant

Back to Brazil

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

Ever since I visited Brazil in the summer of 2018, I have been dying to go back. Because I travel so much, people always ask me - what is your favourite place? I could never answer them; there are things I like about every place I visit, and places like Turkey, England and Guatemala hold special places in my heart because I spent so much time living in each country. But now, my answer is Brazil - I don’t even have to think about it. I fell in love with this place. I can’t really tell you why - it’s more of a feeling. It’s a very accepting place. People wear what they want, love who they want and everyone seems happy. The country itself is so diverse and beautiful - from jaguars to Copacabana, and the country just has its own heartbeat. And it’s so easy to join in that rhythm.


As we leave Argentina, I'm sad. I really do love it and I have no doubt I will be back one day, but I was happy to get back to Brazil. We took a taxi across the border, two stops, two stamps, and boom, I’m “home.”


I had booked us into a nicer hotel here with a pool, so we took a much needed rest day before tackling the other side of the falls. I had spent the last year and half learning Portuguese and was so excited to test out my new skills, but Spanish keeps pouring out of my mouth and I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying. I’m a bit heartbroken, but I’m hoping that being away from Spanish, some review and being exposed to Portuguese will help bring back what I learned.


The next day we start off at the Parque Das Aves. I’m a little worried since the bird park on the other side was so disappointing, but this was bird heaven for me. We see flamingoes, macaws, parrots and tons of other birds. A bright red bird in the first enclosure catches my eye, and I have a hard time believing it’s real. It’ so bright red that it looks almost fake. I find the sign and learn that it is a scarlet ibis. It’s so striking - I’ve never seen such a saturated bird before. It’s like someone turned up the reds in photoshop and forgot to stop.


My favourites are the two harpy eagles. It does make me sad to see birds caged, but again, these are birds that have been hurt and they are helping them return to the wild. The birds are huge, and they have what looks like a crown of feathers on their heads. I could watch them for hours.


In the macaw enclosure, we are allowed to walk among the birds. Every colour of the rainbow is present here and I don’t know where to look. We watch two macaws cleaning each other (see video) and are allowed to get just close enough for a photo. Suddenly, one flies so close to me that it’s feathers touch my head. This happens a few more times and everyone ducks and giggles. What a magical place. I could have spent hours there. On our way out we see striped owls and blue morphos in the butterfly enclosure. Amazing. Although I do prefer seeing birds in the wild, sometimes it's just not possible. These birds are well cared for and they are doing good work here to protect endangered species and helps injured birds.





#dawnellessabbaticaladventures #parquedasaves #flamingos

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