Monday, November 24, 2014

The Peruvian Amazon

Day two in the Peruvian Amazon began early - before dawn - so i could go on a bird watching trip. Full disclosure: i hate birdwatching. It's super boring in my opinion, but this was to be from a small boat on the Amazon, which sounded better than my last experience, which was standing in a wooden tower with binoculars.

The boat ride was lovely. The air was wonderful and the scenery was spectacular in the morning light. And yeah, we saw birds. It was a nice trip though i still am not excited by spotting a scarlet tanager, or whatever, high in a tree.

We returned to the lodge for breakfast, followed by a jungle walk that three of us and two guides went on. We walked for a couple hours, sometimes on pseudo paths and sometimes cutting our way through the trees with a machete. In some areas we were sucked into mid-calf-deep mud and in others we walked precariously along slippery logs. It was fun. 

We did see some wildlife: a tree rat, some monkeys, a lizard, a millipede, and more frogs.

After our hike we relaxed at the lodge for a couple of hours, which of course meant that i lounged in a chair by the river with a couple of cigars. Then a group of us and several guides went out on a boat in search of the Amazonian pink dolphin. I was huge cynic setting out on this boat ride: sure, what were the chances that we would see the rare pink dolphin? Not bloody likely, but it's nice to go on the boat. We set out and we saw a sloth high in a tree, a ton more birds, and some sleeping bats.  The scenery was pretty. We traveled past some villages where people were visible along the shore, bathing and doing laundry, and the air was pleasant with the breeze from the boat.

And then, we saw them. Unexpectedly, slivers of bright pink started to appear around the boat. At least two and maybe four pink dolphins. It was quite exciting. I have no pictures to prove it because it was impossible to know when and where they would surface and the one picture i have where one is visible is so blurry that it looks like a grainy loch ness monster photo from the 1920s. But we saw them and it was pretty cool.

We opted out of a nighttime activity and Betty-Lou and i stayed in the lodge that night to play some cards before killing a hoard of cockroaches and going to bed. It was a very full day.

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