This morning as we took our morning ride along the Amazon, I shot a lot of videos. We saw so many of the beautiful white birds in flight. The color contrast of the white birds against the green foliage and black water was striking. Sometimes we were slow as we enjoyed the images of the shoreline reflected in the glass-like water, and other times if felt like our skiffs were racing along the river.
Our tour director Carlos (not to be confused with our bartender Carlos) was riding in our skiff today. We stopped a local fisherman to see what he had caught this morning and Carlos bought a rather remarkable fish that he intended to take to the chef. Then it was back to our primary mission of finding the lily pads. They are disappearing in the Amazon
Like the other life along the Amazon, the lily pads play an important role. “The Amazon Rainforest is most famed for its exceptional biodiversity, with over half of the world’s estimated ten million animal, plant and insect species calling it home. The rainforest is also the largest pair of lungs on the planet and provides approximately 20% of the world’s oxygen.” Rainforest cruises.com
The lily pad can grow to up to 8-10 feet in diameter, depending on the variety, and can be incredibly strong (holding up to 65 lbs.). They have a lip around the edge creating a bowl like effect to protect things from falling off the edge. Perhaps even more interesting that the surface of the lily pad, is the underside where the defensive mechanisms protect it from fish that want to eat it. There are also stalks that extend deep into the water.
We are going to be out quite a while this morning, so we made a stop at an outpost with a western style toilet not usually found in the rainforest. It didn’t actually flush; you poured water into from the barrel next to it. Unfortunately to reach the toilet, you had to cross a narrow plank and go out across a bridge.
While we were at the stop, the workers told our naturalists about an anaconda that was tangled in fishing line behind the structure. Julio and Billy went to check it out. The snake had deep gashes in it, cut by the fishing line. Our heroes got it free from the line and released it back into the water while we watched. Both said that the injury was not too bad and that the anaconda would recover.
Making a turn onto another tributary, we spotted our chef. Our boats were then tied together for lunch on the river. We started with the chef making fresh ceviche with the fish that Carlos had bought that morning. It was followed by drinks and lunch wrapped in a palm leaf.
We had a full afternoon on the river. We found more monkeys at play to enjoy, rode down the river as beautiful birds flew overhead, saw lizards and new interesting foliage, and just enjoyed the serenity of the Amazon Rainforest.
We got back to the ship late afternoon and took a break before our evening celebration. We only have one full day left to explore the river. We had asked the cruise director earlier in the week when there was going to be dancing and tonight she delivered. After our evening lecture, we all went out back on the third deck to the hot tub lounge area where there was a food and beverage setup.
Our cabin stewards performed on traditional instruments including the pan flutes I associate with Peru. Ricardo joined along on the box drum. The rest of our crew danced behind the buffet table. They used to hire experienced staff and then try to train them for entertainment. It is now done the other way around. In this case they hired fabulous musicians and taught them how to be cabin stewards. It showed; they were fabulous entertainers.
Wendy swayed to the music, but I got a lot of the girls up and we made the most of the evening. We had a great dance party before going down to dinner. I sweated the entire time through dinner. Totally worth it.