From the Delfin II in the Amazon
Sep 28, 2012 - Delfin II
Pacaya River & Atun Poza
We arrived at our destination, after traveling most of the night, with the first sun rays of the day. We had a foggy early morning when we started to go upstream the Pacaya River. This large river is one of the main ones in reserve; in fact it is one of the main tributaries of the Ucayali River. Before breakfast we went into the river, which is one of the entrances to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Neotropic cormorants and black vultures were seen everywhere during the ride.
We had a relatively cool morning that helped us to spot some few red howler monkeys. It is one of largest monkey species in South America. We spotted a large flock of Hoatzins (Ophistocomus hoacin) as well. This prehistoric-looking bird has a peculiar natural history that has made it famous. It feeds exclusively on leaves and their young have claws in their wings to comeback from the water after escaping from predators.
In addition to the many animal species, that include several bird species, we had the pleasure to have our breakfast outdoors aboard the skiffs! This experience is great! While being covered by the rain forest we had our meal served in the most fashionable way, white gloves and fabric napkins included, with the green surroundings and a concert of sounds as companions. After breakfast, a couple of skiffs with adventurous swimmers finally arrived to a large black water oxbow lake called Yanayacu Lake (black water lake). At the arrival time it was quite hot so we donned our bathing suits and went in the water for refreshing swim! The water felt wonderful for it was warm and still.
Lunch was served on board at midday and afterward Delfin II naturalist Adonai Rodriguez had a presentation on the various human groups that live on this side of the Amazon. He explained about the lifestyles and customs of those who live in villages that have assimilated the Spanish way of life and Catholicism, and the groups that maintain a more traditional way of life and are hence considered natives, and finally he spoke of the aboriginals who have scarcely even been contacted by the modern world. We enjoyed his insights and explanations, especially when Adonai taught us how to use the blowgun. Some guests tried the blow gun shooting at a target; some guests were very good using it, while some were not causing laughter and fun.
Late in the afternoon we visited “Atun Poza.” In this remote location we had a walk that led to a huge Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra). At the end of the walk we stopped briefly in the town to share some time with the inhabitants and visit an improvised little market to admire and bought some of their handicrafts before coming back to the ship.
After dinner we watched an extraordinary nature documentary entitled Rivers of the Sun that gave us better understanding of the complexity and changes during the wet and dry seasons in the Amazon. This film shared some interesting facts about the underwater Amazon life as well.