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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Wilder Town

October 9, 2014

When we awoke Dave headed off to help the guys fix the water pump.  It wasn’t primed, so Dave showed one of the workers how to do that.  The joints were leaking and they had tried to fix it with tape and plastic.  But with 20 lbs of pressure it was spraying water everywhere.  So Juan Carlos showed up with some pipe cement and they re-cemented the joints.  Then Dave rewired the ignition wire so it wasn’t sparking to the block.  At that point, it kept quitting so Dave turned its speed down on the theory that maybe it was overheating, and then it ran ok.

We waited till Mike and Holly had hiked out of the jungle before starting breakfast as we knew they would be starving.  Mike and Wilder went hunting caiman last night.  Wilder found one and pounced on it dredging up a 3 foot caiman out of the water who was in the process of eating a tarantula.  Later that evening, Miguel managed to spear a 6 foot Fleur De Lance, the most poisonous snake in the world.

After breakfast it was time for a canoe ride.  The big boat towed the canoes up river and we paddled them back with the current.  Juan Carlos told us that this part of the river has been clogged with grasses till the rains washed them away this week, so in 15 years he has not been upriver past the lodge in the low water season.  Note that what happened to the weeds is that they were all washed down river and are now blocking our entrance.  So we are trapped till the villagers cut the weeds out and create a new path back to the Amazon.  Or until we are all issued machetes in the morning and we try to hack our way out.

In this picture, look at the trees on the right.  Where the black is on the lower half is how high the water gets in the rainy season.

At the end, Juan Carlos called for a race.  When it was clear we were in the losing boat, Melissa started to shoot video.

For lunch they served us piranha that the guys caught in the net at the lake this morning.  These are fruit eating piranha – considered a delicacy among the locals here and is the most expensive fish in the market.  The flesh is sort of sweet.  But they are hard to eat because they are filled with lots of tiny little bones.

In the afternoon, Wilder took us to visit his village which is downstream a ways from the lodge.

There were lots of handicrafts set out for sale and we tried to buy one trinket from each house.  They made some amazing baskets from dyed palm leaves.

Melissa bought these from an old woman.

This is the neighborhood watch program.  Everyone rotates through and spends a day or night on watch.

This is a macabo fruit.  Was strange tasting and you eat the seeds as well as the fruit.  We bought it back to the lodge so that the cook could fry up the seeds for breakfast the next day.  They were yummy – tasted a bit like pumpkin seeds – albeit giant ones.

This is bread fruit.  You also fry up the seeds of this and eat them so we brought some of it back to the lodge as well.

This is an annatto fruit – from which we get paprika from the seeds inside.  It makes a red dye used for face paint.

 


Photo courtesy Mike Sanderson

Then it was time to have some more jungle rum at the “rough bar” in town.  This rum was darker than the one we had tasted previously.  We were told this was because they use a different kind of bark to flavor it.  Apparently each type of bark has different medicinal properties.  But you shouldn’t mix rums from different barks at the same time just like you shouldn’t take multiple antibiotics at the same time.

The sunset as we returned to the lodge was gorgeous on the river.

After dinner it was time for “movie night” yet again, and Melissa played the “Amazon Camping” movie which got lots of laughs.  Then Mike had prepared speeches in Spanish to thank the staff and give them their tip envelopes.

 

 

Then it was time to prepare the list of all the wildlife we had seen.  Here is how that turned out:

Rare Sightings: Jabiru Red Throated Stork, Hoatzin Bird, Owl Monkeys (Night Monkey), Pigmy Marmoset, Pink Dolphins

Birds: Horn Screamer, Black Collar Hawks, Slate Collar Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Yellow Headed Cara Cara, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Striated Herron, Cocoi Herron, Rufecens Tiger Herron, Chestnut Eared Tucans, Great Kikesde Fly Catchers, Common Lesser Kikede Fly Catchers, Tropical King Bird, Forked Tail Fly Catchers, Bluish Fronted Jacamar, White Eared Jacamar, Brown Chested Martin, White Wing Swallow, Rough Wing Swallow, Bank Swallow, Forked Tail Palm Swift, Amazon Green King Fishers, Green King Fisher, White Ring King Fisher, Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, Silver Beaked Tanagers, Anteater Birds, Wattled Jacana, Dusky Throated Antshrike, Blue & Yellow Macaw, Meally Parrots, Orange Winged Parrots, Shorted Tailed Parrots, White Winged Parakeet, Cobalt Winged Parakeet, White Eyed Parakeet, Cormorant

Fish: Red Bellied Piranha, White Piranha, Fruit Eating Piranha (Colosoma), Paiche fish, Armored Cat Fish, Wolf Fish, Croaker Fish, Monkey Fish, Electric Eel

Reptiles: Spectacle Caiman, Amazon Tree Boa (Cat Eyed Boa), Red Wiper Snake, Fleur De Lance (Bothrox), Dragon Lizard, tons of tree frogs, Clown Tree Frog, Owl Frog, French Lip Frog, Skink Lizard

Creepy Crawlies: Pink Toed Tarantula, Wolf Spiders, Lysidae Spiders, Black Scorpion, Millipedes, Centipede

Monkeys: Howler Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Wolley Monkeys, Brown and White Capuchin Monkeys

Other Mammals: Possum, Brown Throated Three Toed Sloth, Yellow Crowned Brush Tailed Rat, Amazon Red Squirrel, Grey River Dolphins

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