This morning was the earliest morning of all, but it was for good reason. We had a long skiff ride to get into the heart of the Samiria National Reserve, the most protected part of the Upper Amazon here. We were on our way to have brunch at the reserve headquarters. On our way we took advantage of wildlife sightings and navigated the ever-changing river waters as floodwaters push carpets of water lettuce and water hyacinth around the waterways. At one point we had to take a shortcut because the river had gotten so choked up with the floating vegetation, which hides more treacherous objects for our boat’s propellers, logs. Our day was to be a full one, including partaking in the infamous Amazon plunge and looking for caimans along the Dorado River at night.
This morning, we planned to visit Sapuena Caño. We could not make it because the creek was low and several fallen trees blocked the entrance. One of our drivers even used a machete in an attempt to find a way through, but it was not possible. Immediately, we decided to reposition the ship to the nearest location, Clavero Lake. We visited the riverside on Monday morning, but this time we spotted many oropendolas, yellow-rumped caciques, parakeets and birds of prey. After lunch, I conducted a photographic review of the expedition. I showed many of the pictures I have taken and offered tips about photography while explaining the natural history of the creatures pictured. Later in the afternoon, we took our second skiff ride of the day along Yarapa Caño. Skiff rides are the best means of transportation to explore the area. Skiffs are fast, relatively light and can navigate narrow passages, allowing guests to spot wildlife from the comfort of their seats. We enjoyed great sightings, including a woolly monkey, woodpeckers, tanagers, cotingas, jacamars, and birds of prey. At sunset, we reluctantly returned to the ship. All the new adventures and feelings brought to our lives during this day in our expedition filled our minds and spirits.