To keep up with our rhythm, we started the last full day of or expedition quite early. We boarded our skiffs before breakfast in order to take advantage of the time when birds and other animals are most active. This is also one of my favorite times of the day, due to the beautiful low light shortly after sunrise. We explored the Yarapa River and almost right away we started finding interesting bird species, as usual. A large tree was full of green, but not only because of its own foliage but due to the presence of a large mixed flock of parrots and parakeets. Tui, cobalt-winged and canary-winged parakeets, together with some festive parrots, flew away when a roadside hawk decided to perch on the same tree, causing great commotion and great show. The hawk, however, wasn’t interested in having a green-feathered breakfast, but calmly picked-up some small branches to use as nesting material. Meanwhile, a couple of crimson-crested woodpeckers were busy at work on a nearby tree looking for insects beneath the bark while a black-collared hawk grabbed a fish in front of our boat. Shortly after that, we spotted a solitary wooly monkey, the first of its species for the trip. We followed the monkey’s movement among the dense foliage until he arrived at an opening where he stopped and regaled us with great views of his furry body while hanging down a branch using his long prehensile tail. What a treat!
Shortly after breakfast, Delfín II arrived at the confluence of the Ucayali and the Marañón Rivers, the spot where the Peruvian Navy starts calling the mighty river the Amazon. Of course, Brazilians wait until it meets the Negro River to name it Amazonas. Politics aside, we celebrated with a toast to our transit through such a special place, the biggest and most impressive freshwater system in the planet.
Later we went ashore, hiking at a wonderful place alongside the Marañón River called Casual. There we experienced life inside the tropical rainforest and learned about some of the immense varieties of trees and other plants around. We also had the wonderful opportunity to meet a few of the creatures that call this place home, including a six-foot-long red-tailed boa constrictor, some poison-arrow frogs and a huge tarantula that graciously modeled for countless photographs, even some selfies.
In the evening, we boarded our aluminum skiff one more time to go exploring, this time at Nauta Caño, another small tributary full of life. Here we found many three-toed sloths, saddleback tamarins and squirrel monkeys, in addition to lots of bird species. Back on board, we enjoyed watching the Guest Slideshow that everyone contributed to, before a delicious dinner. Later, we enjoyed some live music by the incredibly talented staff of Delfín II, particularly the amazing guitar of Mr. Pedro Ruiz. What a nice way to celebrate our last night together exploring the Peruvian Amazon!