Amazon: River of life
From the hostel we took a 30m car, a 20m ferry, a 40m van, and a 30m long tail boat to get to the base camp. Midwayish at the ferry we stopped at the point where the 2 rivers meet - riva negro and riva amazonas. Different tectonic plate and sedimentation structure made the rivers different colors. They also flow in opposite directions. The lighter one (amazonas) is the longest river in the world, flowing from Peru. Though it has 2 other names in peru. It is also one of the only river that houses sea marine life like dolphins, sting rays, and bull sharks. Man I wanna see a bull shark. Where we were was about 90m deep. That's really damn deep.
Base camp is far. I shit you not. The long tail boat snaked it's way through miles of shallow mangroves. It's like we are headed into the heart of darkness. Matteas - our guide - said that by the time we return in a few days the water will be even shallower. September is the heart of the dry season. It is the best time to see animals because they congregate in the few water sources left around - main river arteries. Tho that also means there are less mangroves to boat through. August is a good time to come to experience both. The air smells sweet here. Not quite like Scotland or Africa. It's got it's own scent. Like a mixture of tropical river, red dirt, and wilderness. Wind is warm but full of fresh oxygen. Once again, I feel very much alive. Ever catch yourself in a moment of bliss while doing what you really love? Yea. I live for this.
Base camp is rad. There is a little boat hut thing where we eat and congregate. The dorm perches on the riverfront. Plenty of trees, open ground, and more hammocks than you can shake a stick at. There is no network here. The power comes from a tiny generator which is only on from 6am - 10pm. We went swimming in the river, ate the world's largest river fish (2m long!) in a super yum curry, and napped the afternoon away in hammocks. Later on it looks like we'll head out to do piranha fishing, dolphin spotting, and night time caiman spotting. I honestly thought we'd be roughing it a lot more. So far day one is pretty chill.
More mozzie report later. Heard gnarly stories about them. Afternoon piranhas fishing was quite a kick. We got a stick with tiny little rod and hook. We put chicken in as bait and boated around various bushy mangroves looking for piranhas. There were lots alright. Everyone except for rox and I got fish. We almost did but they fell off the bait midway. There are 2 kinds of piranhas in this water: the red and the white. The red one looks a bit meaner. I think they are also more poisonous. Not sure. Out of the 8 people we caught about 10 fish. They'll make an interesting lunch tomorrow.
I was so occupied with (not) fishing that I almost miss the beautiful sunset. The water looks much calmer in the evening. This whole time so far we only saw one other group of tourist in a boat. This place is very very big, very sparse, and very desolate.. there really is no one else around. The night sky - oh man. Speechless. Especially when we took the boat out for caiman spotting. There was no other light source. Just the sky. The stars reminds me so much of Africa. I miss it very dearly. It is the truth when I said I left a part of me in Africa. Here though ... Not only can you see all the stars, you can see all the reflection in the calm river water. I've never seen anything like it before. Beauty that can only be seen & felt but never described or immortalized. The long boat quietly cut through the night as we searched for caimans. Impressive skills on display by the guide who bare-hand caught 2 babies - a white one and a black one. This guy is the real life Steve Irwin. We learned about the animal for a bit then let it go. It's only 9pm. I'm dead tired. Tomorrow the day begins at 5:30am / we are catching sunrise somewhere cool. Exciting.
... via mobile.