Lindblad Expeditions - From the Delfin II in the Amazon - Carlos Romero, expedition leader
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From the Delfin II in the Amazon

Oct 4, 2012 - Delfin II

Covered with mud and joy

Yanallpa and El Dorado Rivers

A beautiful morning with clear blue skies and the sun shining through the ample windows of our ship made us wake up with joy after a well-deserved rest. An early optional walk or a skiff ride were the first activities of the day. During these outings we spotted several plant and bird species. Blue and yellow macaws were a highlight for the skiff riders for they had the chance see them very clearly perching on top of trees. A couple of monkey troops, squirrel and tamarin monkeys were the highlights for the walkers.

We returned for breakfast, which was followed by a peculiar yet wonderful visit to a sand beach. As the levels of the waters continue being very low there are many sand and muddy banks everywhere. The diverse planned activities for this visit included walks to explore, black mud therapy, sipping and eating coconuts, and swimming in the river. A very hot morning was ideal for all these activities. The beach visit was of great success for we spent a wonderful time tasting cold coconuts, walking around or simply watching the riverbank from shore sitting under a couple of shades that were briefly installed for the occasion.

Several guests were covered by our paramedic Segundo Salas and by the naturalists with the soft mud that is extremely abundant in the area. This mud contains a high proportion of minerals therefore it is excellent for the skin. As the river was very calm we took frequent dips to cool off during the heat of the day. Once we returned to the ship, and just before lunch, I offered a presentation on one of my favorite topics ever, mammals. This time honoring the place we are exploring this week I had a talk entitled: “Morphology, Ecology and Behavior Notes of the Primates of the Pacaya-Saimiria Reserve in the Upper Amazon of Peru.”

In the afternoon before disembarkation we had an exhibition of several Amazon medicinal plants by Delfin II naturalist Rudy Flores has been collecting during walks and the visit we had yesterday to Puerto Miguel Village.

After the talk we disembarked at around 1600. Our goal, leaving from the ship a little bit later than usual, was to stay in the Dorado River after sunset with the intention to watch the sunset from the skiffs and then to spot wildlife while enjoying the sounds of nature at night. With the aid of powerful spotlights we found our way home. We found several night dwelling creatures such as Boat-billed herons, an opossum, and several spectacled caimans.

No words can capture the array of feelings that this day brought to our lives. I can only say that the magic of the Amazon with its combination of colors and sounds touched all of us deep in our hearts and minds and will stay with us for forever.

About the Author

Carlos Romero·Expedition Leader

Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Venezuela, where he lived for many years near the ocean and later the rainforest. He returned to Quito to study biology and specialized in the fauna of Ecuador. His main field of study was zoology with an emphasis on vertebrates. He has a doctorate in biology and a master’s in ecotourism and natural protected areas management. He designed a new curriculum for the largest university in Ecuador, the Central University— a masters in environmental management and administration of natural protected areas. Carlos has also taken part in various scientific projects and expeditions with the Biological Sciences Department of Quito’s Polytechnic University. He has published several scientific papers, including one about the bats of Galápagos and one about the vampire bat of mainland Ecuador.