Sitting Room

Friday, May 02, 2008

A sinkhole called Macaws' Hole

The two photos above were taken by Vanete Brambatti, a friend of mine who has just returned from the Bonito, Jardim and Guia Lopes da Fronteira Area of Mato Grosso do Sul State. The state is mostly known for being the place that houses the Southern Pantanal in Brazil in constrast to the Northern Pantanal in the State of Mato Grosso, whose capital is Cuiabá. The Capital of Mato Grosso do Sul is Campo Grande also called the Cidade Morena or the Brunette City. The photos shows the Macaw's Hole or Buraco das Araras in the area of influence of the Bodoquena Mountains. An area rich in pristine crystal-clear water, caves and underwater rivers. The Buraco das Araras or Macaws' Hole is a sinkhole - a hole in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water causing cave roofs to fall. Sinkholes may vary in size from less than a meter to several hundred meters both in diameter and depth. This sinkhole in the Mato Grosso do Sul State is at least 65 meters wide. The nice thing about this sinkhole as the name denounces is the presence of macaws who come to the hole to sleep and also to nest. It brings to my mind the macaws of Peru that flock to a certain place in the area to lick clay. A friend of mine, a Colombian called Max Olderburg has told me that many in the area also lick the local clay iin order to get some important nutrients.

The reason for my posting this right now is very personal. I used to live and dream in the Pantanal area downstream from the Serra da Bodoquena Area. At the time one of my goal was to go to the Macaws's Hole and see how it realy was. I never made to the hole for two reasons: it was hard to get to and secondly it was dangerous. The hole was a place where gunmen and killers dumped bodies of victims in the old Far Western-Style colonization days. Today the area is an organized tourism destination out of Bonito and even rappelling has been kept to discret second place. Visitors are kept in small numbers - not over nine persons per time. Guides told Vanete Brambatti and son Arturo that in the beginning, rappellers were attracting small clouds that sent the macaws flying away for shelter. But where to find shelter in this world of ours? Fortunately the macauwas are back as the photo shows. If there is place left in the world that still might ressurect the desire to to go somewhere, this place is the Sinkholes of Macaws in the (Southern) Mato Grosso do Sul State of Brazil.

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