Bush camping, jungle navigation and tribes, oh my! Gearing up for the Dragoman tour…

I’ve just been reading through the itinerary again for the Dragoman tour I’m doing with my good mate Russ, and it’s getting me all excited for Brazil, whoo hoo! I’ve been on the road since July and while I’ve seen some truly insane things in South America that I’ll remember my whole life, I’m not sure any of it has prepared me for the Rio Carnival. The more I hear about it, the more I think, well… I don’t even have a mask yet. Or a scrap of Portuguese.

Whatever happens during these impending Brazilian festivities, no matter how many nights we lose star-jumping in the Sambadrome with wigged men dressed as women dressed as giant birds it’s all going to be worth it once we get on that truck (I hope!)

We’re heading off on the Rio to Cusco overland trip, from Feb 14th to March 09th and just going over all the stuff we’re packing in is making me glad that Russ is such a great photographer with equally great equipment, because I don’t think snapping Amazonian tribes with an iPhone will quite suffice.

Some of the things we’ll be doing are checking out the old colonial mining town of Ouro Preto, bush camping near Tres Marias and passing Brasilia en route to the town of Cavalcante, where we’re set to spend the night with the Kalunga people. I’m not entirely sure yet who the Kalunga people are or what they do, exactly, but I’m thinking they won’t be slumped on bean bags watching DVD’s and suffering hangovers, which is what we would have been doing on ‘recovery days’ during the carnival, probably. I think we’re gonna need this trip.

There will also be a bit of swimming in warm springs and waterfalls, the chance to go canyoning, plus a stay in an eco-tourism campsite and tons more as we make our way through the Pantanal towards Cusco. I’m particularly excited to get on our truck, which will look something like this monstrous beast:

I have a sneaking suspicion it changes into an armed robot, Transformers style. At least, I hope it does.

I’ll be blogging as much as possible during this time, with photos from the road. Well, probably Russ’s photos, let’s be honest. Like I said, there’s only so much you can do with an iPhone. You can’t even email from it in the Amazon. Bring on the wilderness… and the adventure!

Providing we survive carnival, of course.