Sidewalk to Yanallpa along Ucayali River & “El Dorado” River
I am really happy to share that all of our guests got to see five species that aren’t always easy to find. Early in the morning, along the riverbanks of the Ucayali River, the skiffs spotted both the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and the Chesnut-Fronted Macaw. Then we landed on the sidewalk to Yanallpa, to encounter pigmy marmosets. They are the gnomes of the rain forest (only 6 inches long) and feed on berries, buds, fruits such as bananas, and various arthropods. But we have learned that they also have the odd habit of “sap-sucking,” which involves gnawing holes into their favorite tree in the area (Cedars) and drinking the oozing sap.
After breakfast some chose to go for a second hike, this time in a flooded forest, while most went to the beach for a mud therapy in the hands of our expert guide, Adonai. We sipped coconuts, heard music and chatted, while our “Masseur” prepared the right formula for the treatment. He had brought mud from the eroded flank of the Ucayali, which looked very rich in minerals. Many guests volunteered, and after a while we had a group of brown muddy creatures sat in a circle, with Adonai in the middle, chanting traditional songs in Quechua, mantras to bring us closer to mother nature. Our bodies, but also our minds had been cleaned, and only then we could be completely initiated to jump into the river and become one with the waters that not too far from here will feed the Amazon.
The last highlight of our day was finding several spectacle caimans (Caiman crocodilus) along “El Dorado” river. The sun had set behind the forest, to the west I suppose, and immediately after, little red eyes shone with the reflection of our flashlights.
Caimans and alligators are in the subfamily Alligatorinae. Alligatorinaes are different from true crocodiles, how? The latest have more sharply pointed snouts and their upper fourth tooth is visible on the outside when the jaws are closed.
Above the caimans, we had an amazing sky, and among the trees, fire flies, stars of life. Once on board and after dinner, I showed the constellations to the guests who still had some energy left. I had then the illusion that caimans were looking up to the stars as well.