An encounter with Mother Nature

by Jocely de Deus Pinheiro

Instructions for the teacher: photocopy the page below and hand it out to students. First when they finish reading the story they can start doing the exercises.


Every day the sun rises and sets but I hardly ever see it (1) because I知 always busy working or doing something else during these precious moments. It痴 a pity I cannot contemplate nature as much as I would like to. Maybe I would feel more in peace if I had more contact with Mother Nature... But, once a year, life gives me a chance to relax a bit and do the things I can稚 do while I知 working: I知 talking about those amazing days called holidays!!!

I always enjoy travelling for my holidays and I can travel anywhere, as long as I travel. I believe travelling is the best way to learn about the world and about its (2) great variety of people... So, once I decide where I知 going to, I always go to a bookshop and search for a good travel guide to help me plan my trip. Travel guides are wonderful, especially the ones (3) published by FOLHA DE SテO PAULO or PHILIPS because they bring historical, cultural and geographical information, which are really relevant for a tourist. They also offer suggestions of what to do, where to stay, what/where to eat, how to get around the cities, nice places to visit and good places to go shopping!!!

I always study the place I知 going to visit before travelling because this (4) makes my trip culturally richer. Last holiday, after deciding to travel to BONITO and PANTANAL (Mato Grosso do Sul/Brazil), I bought the PHILIPS guide at Siciliano痴 and read it through in just one weekend. It was in the PHILIPS guide that I read about the PANTANAL ECOLOGICAL TREKKING EXPEDITION and, at once, I decided I wanted to do it (5). I felt that this expedition was the perfect place for a wonderful encounter with Mother Nature and it was!!!  


I got together with the other people who wanted to go to PANTANAL at BONITO痴 Youth Hostel. (Bonito is a lovely city, famous for its ecological sports, such as trekking, canoeing, rappelling, diving and snorkelling.) We left BONITO very early in the morning with our backpacks and walked until the main avenue to get the bus to a place called 韮URACO DAS PIRANHAS, where the expedition transport would be waiting for us. It took us 5 hours to get there but when we arrived, the expedition TOYOTA was already waiting for us. From the 釘URACO DAS PIRANHAS to the campsite it was a long way, but the landscape was beautiful and full of surprises. On the way to the camp we passed by big farms and we saw colourful birds such as macaws and toucans flying without fear. We also saw and photographed wild pigs, alligators, and even the famous ANACONDA snake, which is also called SUCURI by the locals.

The tourists routine at the PANTANAL campsite is completely different from the city routine although it is also very busy!!! Our alarm clock was the singing of the birds and also the cry of a wild monkey that lives around the camp. It started crying at around 4:30 am, so everybody had to get up but straight away because it was impossible to sleep with such noise... So, after jumping out or our hammocks, we all went for breakfast, which was really delicious with a great variety of typical food and fruits. After breakfast, everyone went trekking either on foot or on horse. Swimming with the alligators and fishing the dangerous 菟iranha fish were incredible activities!!!  


After dinner, we all got around the campfire to play the guitar and to talk about our day痴 adventures... It was full moon when I was there and the nights were really magical! There were people from all over the world in the camp so English was the language I spoke most, in second place came Spanish and Portuguese only in third.

 Camping in the wild PANTANAL was an experience I will never forget...

 1.       Find synonyms for the following words:

a) rich, important, beautiful               ___________________

b) fantastic, wonderful                       ___________________

c) a book about trips                         ___________________

d) a meeting                                     ___________________

e) the strong 砺oice of an animal        ___________________  


1.       TRUE or FALSE?

a)  Jocely has a holiday twice a year.


True False

b) Jocely talked to a tour guide about her holidays.

True False

c) Jocely discovered the EXPEDITION in a book.

True False       

d) Jocely slept in a bed at the campsite.

True    False

e) Jocely can speak three different languages.

True    False

1.        What other words/expressions do these words refer to?

a) it (1) (paragraph 1)            _____________________

b) its (2) (paragraph )          _____________________

c) ones (3) (paragraph 2)      _____________________

d) this (4) (paragraph 2)       _____________________

e) it (5)  (paragraph 2)           _____________________


1.       Answer the following questions:

a)       Why can稚 Jocely contemplate Mother Nature very much?


b)       Which are Jocely痴 favourite travel guides and why does she like them?


c)       How did Jocely get to the Pantanal campsite?


d)       How and at what time did people in the camp wake up?


e)       Describe the Pantanal campsite routine.


Notes for the teacher: Did your students enjoy Sunflower's activity? I'm sure they did! Now you can try the other comprehension texts our adventurous Sunflower has  written for you!!!

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