Friday, September 19, 2014

Piranhas, Dolphins, Amazon cruise

Amazon Cruise June 2014

One of the fun side trips Mo Jr arranged was a fishing trip.  We had to go deep into the trees but we found a good spot.

some of us caught fish

this one had poisonous spikes, so they took it away quickly :)


 What the heck is this?
It's a termite nest the size of a child-awesome...

When you look closely the construction is really cool but then you think about how many termites that is and kind of freak out.  There were similar nests for a ant that was sensitive to sound.  Mo Jr.  gave loud, low shout and the ants came scurrying out.

There was one outing that only E- and I went on-I think some important match was on that afternoon.  We went out in one canoe with Mo Jr.,  his niece (who maybe wants to be a vet tech) and one crewman.  He was a fantastic animal spotter.  We saw so many animals.  A tree full of iguanas-one was clearly in charge and rushed at a smaller one who tried to get near 'his' branch.  A pair of birds that did their mating dance in front of us.  Dozens of moneys, some just hanging in the trees, a small troop that was on the 'money highway' where we followed their progress by the shaking branches, and a small family group with baby clinging to mother.  One of the monkey troops lead us to the biggest siting of the day-the pygmy owl, just sitting on a branch in perfect view, he never even hopped off.  Mo Jr. said this is only the second time in his 40 yrs, so I feel pretty special to have been there.  He spoke so quickly when he spotted it that I had no idea what type of animal a 'pig meow' was, heh!


monkeys in the center

pygmy owl

On to the best animal-the pink river dolphin!
There is a spot where a decade ago two girls started luring the local dolphins with food.  It is just a dock off the river, but there are ~20 that show up regularly.  It's regulated so the dolphins don't get too fat, but they are wild, no cages.  I think that is pretty awesome.

  So we got to go and hang out with them, you could even touch them if you wanted.

Okay, so the problem is that they are hard to catch on camera.

no really....sigh!
If you really want to see dolphins, wait for my post about my bike trip on the California coast....

Another great side trip was to a local village.
We bought a couple of the handicrafts, but the highlight was soccer!  Boat folks vs. village kids, one game that was more hard core (more mud over everyone) and one with the pick-up players.  I have no idea who won the matches but everyone had a great time.

They played until the sun went down and then all the muddy ones jumped into the river to clean up

On the final day we traveled downstream under the bridge


The local coast guard was on top of everything-we got stopped to have our papers checked and then another group stopped us again.  I'm thinking they are on high alert for the World Cup.

On to the actual Amazon!  The meeting of the waters is where the two rivers meet to become the official (Brazilian) Amazon
The one river is slow and full of silt, the other is colder, faster and clearer.

They run side by side for a mile or more

taking their own sweet time to mix it up to become the Amazon.
And sadly the end of our cruise-I'm thinking next time it will have to be near the gulf where it dumps into the ocean!

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