This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fires on the Savannah

From Trinidad, we set out west along a dirt road passing through the savannah wetlands, which are seasonally flooded but become pasture country in the dry season. Like the Pantanal, which we saw later in Brazil, they support a great diversity of wildlife which becomes concentrated as the wetland lakes and pools dry out and wading birds and crocodiles are forced into ever closer relationship.

Some of the remaining flooded areas

As earlier in the trip, the roads here were undeveloped and we had to cross rivers at small vehicle ferries operated with outborads or men pushing with poles.

Panorama of the vehicle ferry crossing

Panoramas of the river and looking back at the crossing from the far shore

Shortly after we came to a second ferry crossing again manned by enterprising locals.

Panoramas of another river vehicle ferry

Panorama of a river side village

Vultures pick up any road kill

A deceased capybara from the wetlands 

A third river crossing by poled ferry

Capybaras and white hooded eagles in the wetlands

We stopped here to look at the wetlands but could see there was smoke and signs of fires up ahead.

A forest island in the savannah wetlands

Suddenly we came upon the savannah on fire burning up to the road side, having already crossed a vast track of grassland.

Crocodiles sheltering in the wetland pools

Ahead there were vast plumes of smoke as the burning savannah stretched as far as the eye could see.

Panorama of the smoke plumes

Tiuius and wading birds in the wetlands in the middle of the fires

The fires ahead had crossed the road so there was burning on both sides.

We stopped to catch a view of the burning in the setting sun and to assess whether there was any risk to passing on through.

Panorama of the savannah fires to the right

Cars coming the other way avoiding the flames on the right of the road

Panorama of the fires ahead crossing the road

Flames all along the left of the road as well

Passing through the hot spot where the fires cross the road

The fire front to the south

... and to the north

Two panoramas of the fire front to the north

Google maps image from 2012 shows this whole region has been largely cleared 
from Trinidad to San Ignacio, with only small forest remnants to the north of the road left.

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