At the very end of the transpanteniera, the road literally drops off into the river, no signs or warnings. The end of Mato Grosso state, the end of people access into the territory of jaguars, capybaras, endless herons — cocoi, rufescent tiger, striated. You can run on the red dusty road, surrounded by chattering chachaloca, gathering tiny insects in the sweat and repellent on your neck, greeted by hyacinth macaws, buff necked ibis, tame caracaras at the gate.
The Cuiaba river means “river of stars,” and as you head back to the lodge after your afternoon searching for jaguars in your tiny boat, you are enmeshed in hundreds of rufousy greater and lesser fishing bats madly dating around the boat. You move at the speed of the tiny glorious striated heron, even with the boat for dozens of metres, of the landscape.