Brazilian Adventure

Brazil 2001

In September of 2001, I was privileged to accompany Dr. Wilmer J. Miller and his wife Lotus to Brazil. The Millers had been there several times before and are indisputable experts on the country and its plants and wildlife, especially birds. The fact that they are both knowledgeable in Portuguese, the language of Brazil, was invaluable to our incredible adventure. Actually, incredible barely describes our trip

Let's back up for a second.

I met Dr. Miller at Iowa State University when I attended his Genetics class in 1988 and later worked with him in his animal blood typing lab at the University.  In addition to being a well known Classical Immunogeneticist, Dr. Miller is the world's greatest authority on the genetics of the Ringneck dove and arguably the greatest contributor to the understanding and husbandry of this species in captivity. My background with poultry and other birds, combined with my interest in genetics made us a perfect match, and I am honored to say we have been friends since we met.

I met Lotus Miller on my first visit to their home in Ames, Iowa. For me, it was love at first sight. Lotus is not only incredibly vivacious, but is  the most knowledgeable person I have ever had the privilege of meeting. Her background and education in Ecology and Ornithology is impressive alone, but coupled with her interest in and knowledge of EVERYTHING else, she could be a real threat to any Jeopardy contestant. Lotus is down to Earth, and a lot of fun. I have enjoyed our exchanges and teasing for over 16 years now. What a great lady.

In summation I cannot say enough good about the Millers. They were my surrogate family while I was at college, and continue to be now. Too many times, when traveling with friends, difficulties arise that taint the relationship. In this case, I think our Brazilian adventure only made us closer. But that's enough mush for anyone.

On to the good stuff...

The planning of the trip involved a lot of research and changes to the standard tourist itinerary that the average travel agent just couldn't quite grasp. We wanted to experience Brazil in its most natural state. There would be no beaches in Rio for this group. We were headed for the Pantanal and an Amazonian experience of a lifetime. Millers also wanted to make sure that I saw the city where they made their home during their previous 2 year stay in Brazil, Belo Horizante (Beautiful Horizon). We wound our trip down in and around this Brazilian city, perhaps 300 miles north of Rio de Janeiro, and it made our transition back to civilization complete.

In general, I mainly would  like the pictures and captions on this page to tell the story as you travel with us through the 3 legs of our trip: The Chapada and Northern Pantanal, The Amazon, and Belo Horizonte.

Hold on and enjoy the ride. There are Jacare (Caiman), Anacondas, Giant Otters, Tapirs, 200 foot tall rainforest trees, Hyacinthine Macaws, Toucans, Vampire Bats, and a whole lot of fun ahead!

Iguana capture in Brazil, Northern Pantanal
*click on pics to enlarge*
Kevin Stalder, Owner/Operator
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This site was last updated 07/24/10

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