Friday, 3 August 2007

Call of the Jaguar - Day 2: "Arriving at Corumba"

I was nervous whole night and woke up early. Somehow, for some one as seasoned a traveler as
me, going to Corumba is becoming a big task. My whole goal today was determined not to go to the wrong location of Cuiaba again! I went to the airport early and must have asked so many different people-airline officers, passengers, etc to confirm that the flight I was boarding was meant to go to Corumba and I did not have to change flight indeed this time.

When I asked my fellow passenger seated next to me to confirm, he said he was going to Corumba himself. Claudio was a smiling friendly man in his fifties and we struck a conversation to while away the time since I was too unsettled to concentrate on the book I was reading. Claudio, an engineer working for the biggest construction company in Brazil (and probably the biggest in the world, if I understood him correctly) lives in Pattino but is now working on a road project in Bolivia, just across the border from Corumba which is a frontier town as I found out in the map. He spends about four weeks working on the Bolivian project and then spend one week back at home, hence today he was on his way back to work. Upon leaving the flight, he kindly invited me and my Brazilian friends to have lunch with him on Sunday at his house. I had a hard time to get my message across, that I will be on a board for the next days chasing the jaguars, hopefully, so I won’t be able to accept his kind invitation.

Happily, I did arrive in Corumba and was picked up first by Peter’s colleagues since he was doing a live TV interview in the car. I was received by the Reserve manager and a young researcher called Rugero, who flew to Peter’s celebration party from Sao Paolo yesterday. And then Peter himself. It was a good encounter since although Peter and I have only been communicating by email, it seems like we are already good old friends and this was a very happy reunion!

Corumba is a charming little town but the aero view of the area was fantastic-lush green areas with many waterways. I am now looking forward to the start of our jaguar chasing trip tomorrow, having now resigned that my blackberry will definitely not work in this area...after repeated calls by our kind new office assistant Susan to try to find out why from O2 Blackberry customer service! Well, thank TIM Brasil for my ´`Data Connection Refused``...I can now forget about office work for a while.

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