Amazon Natural Park and Yanayaquillo Creek

May 14, 2018 - Delfin II

Hello Amazonia! We arrived from Lima by plane, flying into Iquitos yesterday in the early afternoon. Our adventure began with a delicious lunch at the fabulous floating   “Frio al Fuego” restaurant. While we were enjoying dessert and sampling pisco, the heavens opened up and we knew for sure that we were in the RAINFOREST!

We reach the port of Nauta at dark and were welcome on board our floating hotel, the Delfin II. We slept well while Captain Darwin carefully navigated four hours upriver and tied the boat to a strong cercropia tree on the right bank of the Maranon River. The “knock knock” wake-up call came at 0530, just as the sky began to blush with light. We boarded the three skiffs with our naturalists at 0600 and headed slowly up river. We spotted many species of birds – notable among these were plumbeous kites, violaceous jays, a black hawk, ….  We cruised into the mouth of a small black water tributary Pampas Cano, and were thrilled to see a couple pink river dolphins!

Back at our comfortable ship we had a bountiful breakfast, were fitted for rubber boots and soon stepped back into the skiffs for a short ride to the Amazon Nature Park. We paddled/were paddled across a man made lake in small catamarans. Perched on a thin upright stick we spotted 6 tiny long-nosed bats sleeping (until we came too close and they flew away!), and along the grassy bank two horned screamers - impressive large black birds the size of wild turkeys.  Our guides led us thru the forest on a sometimes slippery path and along the way pointed out various interesting trees, seeds, ants, lizards and any thing they noticed. We are interested in all they can show, explain or teach us!

We reached a canopy bridge and slowly, carefully and with a couple meters between us, ventured out. It creaked and swayed but we saw some amazing things while walking at tree-level: a lizard very near us on a tree, a family of saddle-backed tamarin monkeys and below us in the stream, sharp-eyed Joan spotted – an anaconda! Our guides estimated the snake was about 3 meters or 6 feet long. We didn’t all get to see it but – wow – this was a rare sighting indeed.

I gave a short talk about Amazon facts just before lunch. As we entered the dining room we were once again delighted with the colorful table decorations made from local handicrafts, flowers and seeds. Just as beautiful – and very tasty – was the meal itself! Afterwards we had a short siesta, or joined photo instructor Linda in the lounge for some hands on help with our cameras.

A shaman from the Cucama tribe, Carola, showed us medicinal plants, discussed her eight years of training in the jungle and answered our questions. She performed a short ceremony for luck and health for all of us, and then for anyone who wanted, she individually read the color of their auras. Meanwhile, the afternoon cooled off as the sun dipped lower into the sky, and we headed out again in our 3 skiffs with naturalists to see what we could find. And did we ever find the wildlife!

Some of the highlights for the afternoon exploration were: a tree full of adult and juvenile snail kites, a brilliant turquoise plum-throated cotinga, more pink dolphins in the junction of the black water creeks, and tamarin and squirrel monkeys. As we returned to the main river, with smiles on our faces, the sunset in glowing bright oranges and pinks, with fabulous grey and white thunderheads backlit by golden rays. A fitting finale to an incredible first day!

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About the Author

Lynn Fowler

Expedition Leader

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, and one of seven children, Lynn grew up in various university towns where her father was a professor of physics. Lynn obtained her B.A. in biology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, followed by a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Florida, which encompassed a study of marine turtles in Costa Rica. She arrived in Galápagos in 1978 and became one of the first female naturalist guides working for the Galápagos National Park.

About the Photographer

Linda Burback

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

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