Maranon River

Dec 19, 2017 - Delfin II


It’s hard to believe today is only the second full-day aboard the Delfin II as we explore the upper reaches of the Amazon Basin. Another early morning gave us the opportunity to adventure into the Amazon Nature Park for a forest walk before the heat of mid-day. However, the cloud cover from the evening persisted through most of the morning providing for relatively cool temperatures. As we walked through this protected park amongst an incredible primeval forest, we listened to Rudy, our local guide, share a tremendous amount of information about the plants and animals we saw, as well the unseen birds we heard calling from the canopy. Part of this walk brought us onto bridges constructed near the tops of many of these large trees. This bridge walk gave us the privilege of seeing the forest as a bird or monkey might, 25-30m above the ground!

Following a brief time back on the Delfin II, we returned to land to visit a local shaman. It is not often westerners have the opportunity to meet a real shaman. Coroleta, one of very few women Shaman, trained for 8 years and has been practicing for about 4 years. During her 8 years of training she followed a very strict diet. She shared knowledge about how she collected and the purpose of certain plants used for medicinal reasons. Before leaving her, she blessed us with song and a ‘protection bead’ that will help keep the illness and evil spirits away. I think what we all came away with was how kind and giving this woman is to devote her life, without any significant pay, to the time-preserved art of treating people with sickness.

When we returned from the Shaman, we were met with a fantastic lunch, a siesta and then a presentation about the local fruits of the Amazon. We were taught about and had the chance to taste the various fruits that have been on display on the upper deck since embarkation. As a finale to an already incredible day, we loaded up kayaks for the first time this adventure, as well as the skiffs again and cruised into a small tributary of the Maranon to explore and seek more wildlife and rainforest beauty!

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About the Author

David Jaffe

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

For more than 20 years David Jaffe has guided and taught a variety of audiences about our natural world and our connection with it. His childhood interest in natural systems eventually brought him to Evergreen State College where he earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geology, followed by a M.S in Applied Ecology from the University of Vermont. Mingling an academic background with experience working around the world in exceptionally diverse environments, he is able to efficiently observe, understand, and interpret natural and cultural history.

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