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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Brazil - 16 March, 2002

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Jerry's Lodge, Rio Mamori, Amazon rain forest S0341.772' W05948.593' 33 m
-  Dugout canoe ride through the flooded jungle . . . 5 km (by canoe)
-  Dinghy ride . . . 10 km (dinghy)
Finish Jerry's Lodge, Rio Mamori, Amazon rain forest S0341.772' W05948.593' 33 m .

Leg 3 Total:

8,020 km

Leg 2 Total:

12,140 km

Leg 1 Total:

9,010 km

Galapagos:

771 km

Grand Total:

30,141 km

 

Weather: Mostly clear, sunny, very hot and humid.  Cool at night.

 

 

We are up early with the sun - it is good to get an early start in the day before it gets too hot.  We head down to the dining room where we wait for breakfast to be served.  While we wait, we watch the sun rise over the river.  Breakfast is fresh fruit and deep fried fritters.  Great, but a bit unhealthy!!

 

After breakfast, we head off in the dinghies a short way to one of the many offshots of the river.  There we transfer into a number of dugout canoes for a tour through the flooded jungle.  There is three of us, plus one paddler, per canoe.  The canoes are quite small and have very low center's of gravity.  Any small movement, and water can come splashing over the edge.  We were careful to make sure that we did not tip them over.

 

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It was amazing how they got us through the dense jungle in the canoes.  We saw many things - lots of butterflies, birds, spiders and different types of vegetations.  We did not see any monkeys - the primary goal - but we did find a sloth.  They are very difficult to find and we were lucky to spot one.  The guides then climbed up and knocked him out of the tree into the water - seemed a bit extreme, but we could not communicate to tell them not to.  When the sloth fell in the water, we were afraid he would drown.  While we knew that he was a slow mover (they really do move in slow motion), even when he was in the water he swam in slow motion.  It was one of the strangest sights that we have seen.  The guides grab him and hold him up for us to see.  They then put him back in a tree.  Even when being let go, he moved ever so slowly as he reached out for the tree branch and so very slowly climbed on.  A bit wet, but not worse for the wear.

 

Brazil02_AmazonJungle2_04_Canoe_Lars_C486_Web.jpg (109524 bytes)

One of the more interesting parts of the trip was watching the guides fishing using spears that they would thrust at fish laying on the bottom of the water.  They caught a number of pre-historic looking fish that hard armor-like skin.

 

Back at the lodge we went for a cooling swim in the same waters that we fished for piranhas yesterday.  The ones that got away (and there were many) must have stolen enough bait from us to satisfy them for a while so our toes were of no interest to them.  After lunch we had the mid-afternoon siesta.

 

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The afternoon was spent on a dinghy riding around the nearby lake.  We saw many birds, including lots of eagles.  Many of the birds were fishing and diving into the water.  The eagles would sit majestically on trees jutting out from the water.  Some of went swimming, jumping into the water after climbing up trees standing in the middle of the lake.  We also saw a number of dolphins.  We spent some time taking the long dinghy through the dense forest of the flooded jungle - it was amazing how he would steer the boat through the dense vegetation.  The propeller must get a bit of a beating.  On the way back we enjoy the sunset.

 

Brazil02_AmazonJungle2_08_Caiman_Lars_C490_Web.jpg (23512 bytes)

Back at the camp, we take it easy before dinner.  After dinner (the usual rice, spaghetti and some meat dish), we hang out watching the stars.  Then it is caiman hunting time.  We pile into the boat and head out in the dark, with the only light coming from the stars far up in the sky.  Every once in a while the guide would shine a torch at the shore to see if he could spot the eyes of a caiman.  When he did, we took the boat over there and drifted in for the last few meters.  A quick swish of the hand, and we had a juvenile caiman in the boat (oh, by the way, in case you did not know, a caiman is a type of alligator).  We all got a turn to hold it and after catching one more, we head back to camp.  A second group goes out and picks up a few more.

 

We do not let them go at night as we are told that the piranhas may get them.  So we will let them go tomorrow in the day light.  It is early to bed and we get another amazing show put on by the thousands of fireflies that hang around our hammock building.

 

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