From the Delfin II in the Amazon
Jan 25, 2013 - Delfin II
Atun Poza & Pacaya River
So far so good! We have had a great week and today was no exception. Our expedition in the mighty Upper Amazon in Peru continued today with a full day exploring two remote locations: Atun Poza in the morning and the Pacaya River in the afternoon.
The Pacaya River basin is one of the most important components of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. This reserve is the most extensive area of protected floodable forest (varzea) in the Amazon rain forest in South America. All over this protected area there are an incredible number of lagoons, lakes, gorges, canals, creeks, and oxbows.
Today we experienced firsthand the extraordinary biodiversity that all these mini ecosystems contain. In the morning we observed many bird species like flycatchers, big flocks of egrets, and the prehistoric looking Hoatzin. We cruised around a lagoon flooded with water hyacinths. The experience was surreal for we felt like floating in a big green and purple carpet. In addition to the many animal and plant species, including several monkey troops, we had the thrill of having our breakfast outdoors aboard the skiffs! This experience is simply amazing, covered with the rain forest we had our early meal served in the most fashionable way, white gloves included, with the green surroundings and a concert of sounds as companions.
We observed a couple of Monk Saki monkey troops. This peculiar monkey species is one of the most impressive and attractive looking one found in the whole Amazon region. It was for me the highlight of the morning. Saki Monkeys look out of place. They have a very thick and long dark fur that makes them look bigger than they really are. This long fur is used as protection from insect bites for one of the components of their mainly vegetarian diet is honey.
At lunchtime the kitchen galley showed us how to cook a local dish by the name “juane” which is the most typical dish in the city Iquitos. Later on at lunch we had the “juanes” we helped to prepare served as a side dish to our succulent lunch.
In the afternoon we had plenty of time to go far and beyond the Pacaya River. We observed several monkey species including this time the red Howler Monkeys. The latter are species that are hard to find, and we were very fortunate for we had extraordinary views of these big new world primates. Late in the afternoon we had time to swim in the middle of a beautiful lake with the company of the sounds of the forest.
Late in the evening at around 1820 we arrived back on board with the wonderful feeling that we spent a great day in one of the most intriguing and fascinating ecosystems on Earth—the enigmatic Amazon.