Thursday, October 15, 2009

GreenTracks Riverboat Expedition

We set out from the town of Nauta on the M/V Clavero, a restored rubber boom-era ship, on our way to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. After a brief but wonderful run up Nauta Caño in late afternoon (where we observed three kinds of kingfisher, horned screamers, black-collared and slate-colored hawks, macaws, and a host of wading birds), we traveled through the night to the mouth of the Samiria River.

Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, Ara ararauna

Before entering the Reserve we visited the village of Leoncio Prado, where we observed neatly cultivated fields planted with papaya and manioc, and discovered a three-toed sloth (Bradypus tridactylus). After a slew of pictures the sloth obligingly climbed a tree and we headed back to the boat.

The Samiria River was at an unseasonably high level which permitted the Clavero to ascend the river without problems. What a week it proved to be! We saw Squirrel, Howler, Capuchin and Saki monkeys, neotropical squirrels, and literally too many species of birds to count. Beautiful sunrises allowed us to take early morning hikes and boat rides to observe and photograph plants and wildlife.

Canary-winged Parakeet, Brotogeris versicolurus

Sacha Mango, Grias neuberthii

Unidentified red fungus growing next to a salt lick (collpa)

We had a group of people who were as nice as one could ever hope for. We learned and laughed our way through the Amazon, sharing not only in the adventure but also each other´s experiences. From Seattle to Los Angeles to St. Louis to Montreal, our group represented the world, and that made for unforgettable dinner conversations.

After an exhilarating week on the Samiria, and a pass through the forests of the Marañón River we visited a site on the Ucayali River where we saw and photographed the gigantic Victoria amazonica lilies.

Victoria amazonica lilies

Then it was time to head for Iquitos and say our farewells, each knowing they had shared in the trip of a lifetime.

GreenTracks Amazon Cruises



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