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Dispatch #77 - Onward to South America

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About Journey America

On July 8, 2012, Filipe Masetti Leite, a Brazilian journalist based out of Toronto, embarked upon one of the most daring journeys of the 21st Century. The second-generation cowboy is riding two horses through 12 countries in North, Central and South America – a lifelong dream passed down from his father and inspired by Aime Tschiffelly’s 1925 ride from Argentina to Washington D.C. Filipe is traveling on horseback to explore, learn and engulf himself in the simplicity of a “natural way of life". Riding through hundreds of towns and villages on his nearly 10,000 mile journey, he'll engage with locals to hear their stories, sharing the most compelling narratives he finds. All the while you will see his personal footage updated weekly and follow his exact GPS coordinates on OutWildTV. Come along and experience Filipe's adventures and pitfalls while he experiences the wilderness, cities and towns of the Americas on his epic journey home.

Journal

07.18.14 In Search of the Jaguar

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While resting in Miranda, Emma and I were invited to visit Fazenda San Francisco. Situated just twenty kilometers from town, the farm raises beef cattle, has a large rice plantation, and in recent years has jumped into the ecotourism business.

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07.16.14 Welcome to Miranda

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Our arrival in the town of Miranda was nothing short of spectacular.

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07.15.14 The World Cup Begins

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Call it the luck of the draw, or great planning by the soccer Gods, but I arrived in Brazil just in time for the kick off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Having watched the Seleção win not one, but two of its five championships growing up, it’s an understatement to say I get excited about the tournament. And this year, as it is being hosted right here in my home country, there is even more reason to watch and celebrate!

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07.03.14 Jaguar Spotting

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On our fifth night on the road we found ourselves with no place to turn the horses out. Luckily, just before sunset we discovered a large farm next to the road. After speaking to some of the workers we were given permission to tie the horses up at a nearby fence and camp next to the ponies.

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07.02.14 The Fazenda Bodoquena

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The Pantanal is not only home to an array of birds and animals; it is also made up of some of Brazil's largest cattle operations.

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06.30.14 The Pantanal

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The Pantanal is one of the world's largest tropical wetlands areas. Located mostly in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil, it is home to an array of animals and birds. Although it is known as one of the world's most beautiful places, riding through its flooded fields on horseback is extremely challenging.

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06.20.14 Continuing on to Corumbá

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A light rain falls as I tack up Bruiser. After more than thirty days of quarantine the time has finally come to begin our ride through Brazil.

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06.18.14 Familia

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The first few days of our quarantine in Brazil sucked. Emma and I ran around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to get the stalls up to par with the Ministry of Agriculture's requirements. Netting, cleaning supplies, shavings, nails... Everyday we had to buy something new.

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06.16.14 Welcome Home

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6 pairs of boots. 240 horseshoes. 690 days. This is what it took for my ponies and I to travel the 14,000 kilometers that separate Calgary, Canada and Puerto Kijaro, Bolivia. We crossed national parks, rivers, mountains and deserts to get here. I can honestly say that this has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. At the same time, it has been the most gratifying.

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06.03.14 Bolivian Borders

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It is just after 9pm. I am exhausted, hungry and cold. As I wait for the final border official to stamp my documentation so I can finally enter Bolivia, my vision slowly starts to go blurry. Then without warning the ground beneath my feet begins moving like waves on the ocean.

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