The Amazon River

Trip Start Feb 06, 2007
1
64
330
Trip End Jan 14, 2008


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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Sunday and Monday April 29th and 30th, on the boat cruising up the Amazon
The only way to describe our 3 nights and days on the Amazon is 'wonderful'. Most of the time we were close to one bank or the  other and watched the trees go past. A few birds showed themselves, but serious bird watching was impossible with the movement of the boat. The cloud patterns and reflections on the water changed all the time. Sunsets were spectacular, and Monday night, under a full moon, we could see both the Southern Cross and Pointers to the south, and the Plough, Pointers and Pole Star to the north.
On occasions pink dolphins showed themselves. This usually happened when a black river joined our brown river, but other times the dolphins were playing near the boat.
There were frequent stops to offload or onload people of goods. At the bigger towns (Nauta and Lagunas) sellers rushed on to the boat with their food and fruit. The unlucky souls on the second deck,  clearly desperate for decent food, bought from the sellers, but up on the top deck we were being reasonably well fed and had no need to buy anything.
At one small town, about a dozen 44 gallon drums were heaved up a plank on to the bottom deck. The guys made it look easy, but we found we could not even rock one of these drums, they were so heavy. One story was that they contained aguardiente (distilled sugar spirit), another that they contained something combustible. Given that they appeared from a small river-side village, spirits seems a tad more likely. A couple of drums were left at another small village further upstream.
Barb chatted to a group of 4 women returning home to Yurimaguas. The ice was broken when they produced a jar of glucosamine tablets with the info in English, and a translation was needed. You would not be allowed to make such exaggerated claims for cartilage-fixing capsules in Australia. They gave us a zapote fruit to try. These are greenish on the outside, orange-coloured inside, taste a bit like rock melon, but you can only chew the flesh off the huge pips and eat a little from around the pips. The rest is too hard. Nice, but rock melon is much easier to eat. We also talked to a paint salesman, who spoke a little English. During the voyage he sold his air mattress and pump to the captain for 50 soles, twice what he had paid in Lima.
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