To the Wild, Wild Amazon - Day 572
We were relaxing having breakfast with 40 minutes to go before leaving when suddenly the receptionist came rushing up to us. "Your driver has been waiting for you". Doh! We realised that we hadn't changed our clocks.
Luckily, Marco was very laid back and not concerned. He drove us to the dock, and we had a private tour down the river to a Pirarucu farm. Pirarucus are massive freshwater fish, a staple diet for this area, and they can grow up to 15 feet and 200kg.
There were a few large tanks with various sizes of fish. We were given pellets to throw in, and the fish squabbled to eat them. At the last tank where the big boys lived, we were given fishing rods, well, a small fish tied to a rope on a long stick.
I slowly lowered the little fish towards these big Pirarucus. A row of open round mouths waited at the ready. I dropped a bit more and splish splash, there was a massive scramble for this meer morsal. The rope tugged hard, I held on tight then suddenly a big fish had won and pulled its meal off.
Our journey to Juma Floating Lodge began. We arrived first at the "Meeting of the Waters", the point where the River Negro meets the River Solimôes. Sadly due to the choppy water and cloudy sky, the meeting wasn't clear, however, three dolphins popped out to say "Welcome."
We eventually reached our destination, 100km south of Manaus, via a private boat, a VW van and a taxiboat.
As we arrived, I noticed some guys in the water nearby. Isn't that dangerous? We were greeted by Titan, our guide, and when I mentioned this he laughed and said I'd watched too many films based in the Jungle.
I must admit that I was quite apprehensive about this trip. What creepy-crawlies were going to pounce on us? I think my imagination was as wild as the surroundings.
Lunch was ready and we quickly got to know two very nice guys from Morroco and a lovely Brazilian couple now living in San Francisco. We then found out that their wonderful trip was over so waved farewell (shame, it would have been fun with them four).
Titan explained that the owner was away, the usual guide was recovering from an operation, so it was just us, Titan, his wife doing the cooking and Georgio, their adorable and funny six-year-old. Wow, our private tour for the next three days in the wild Brazilian Amazon.
Time to relax on the hammocks overlooking the Mamori River before our first outing. What will we spot?
Birds, birds and more birds: 1 collared hawk, 2 white headed marsh tyrants, 3 kiskadees, 4 orange-fronted yellow finches and 5 amazon kingfishers. Ok, I made up the numbers!
Titan (pronounced Chitan) has lived in this area for the last thirty years and, despite the ever changing environment, knows it like the back of his hand.
We zoomed down the river passed treetops poking out from the flooded waters, in places 12m deep. Titan's skill took us through gaps amongst the trees, over grassy marshes and he still was able to spot wildlfe, pointing these out to us.
The sunset wasn't spectacular so we went back for dinner and an early night ready for a dawn start and to see more beauty of planet earth. Can't wait.