Friday, 21 March 2014

Amazon part 1

The last day in Lencois was a lot of trekking 7km up and 7km down, very little flat ground at all up to see Fumaca, means smokey in Portuguese, and its amazing. It gets its name from the wind creating a smoke effect from the tiny water droplets that form as the water falls. However since its very dry right now in Brazil, it has a slightly bigger effect on the waterfall. The wind whips up the entire waterfall and it actually falls upwards once it reaches half way down the waterfall. Its an amazing feeling when the wind whips the water in the direction of the plateau above the waterfall that you are standing on. At the bottom of the water fall is a pool of water the looks very calm and still, considering it should be fed by a waterfall.

Then another little trip in the car to another natural water slide and a big pool which we could swim in. The water was coloured red because of the tiny bits of rock that were in the water. Was very pretty, however my camera ran out of battery on the way up Fumaca which was disappointing but I will be getting pictures from a German guy called Timo, he has quit his job and is going on a year travelling, he asked if he could read my blog for ideas, not too sure what ideas you going to get from my ramblings mate but good luck.

Getting to Manaus means a 7 hours bus, a taxi to the airport, two flights and a car ride to the office. Very excited about this part of the trip.

After a long trip to Manaus, and then another long trip involving two trips by boat and two taxi rides I am now in the Amazon basin. I arrived at the camp early in the morning, I have lost track of the actual day of the week now completely. Meet two British couples and a guy from Denmark who I am going to be spending the night with in the jungle, so we headed out on the boat after lunch. The setting here is beautiful, there are trees all along the way and the river opens out the huge lake like areas, without a guide you would get lost easily. On the way we saw sloths in the trees and a few terrapins. We got to the camp roughly two hours latter and started setting, there was a long hut with no walls that we would sleep under and it had beams to hang hammocks. Beside it was a small lean too for starting a fire under, which was the first thing that Paulo our guide did.  He cooked rice and one and a half chickens on the fire, the food was surprisingly tasty. After dinner Adam the guy from Denmark found a few tarantula, another larger spider and a few leeches crawling through the forest. Then came sleep time, crawling into the hammock without ripping the mosquito net was difficult.

In the morning I learned I had been bitten badly on my legs and back, and in the afternoon it started to itch. I had left my antihistamines back in the office and was regretting this choice now. Once we had had a quick breakfast of pineapple and biscuits we headed back to the jungle lodge. We briefly stopped at a little local house to see a pineapple plantation, this was enlightening as we also got to see a rubber tree and try various other fruits, guava, orange lemon, papaya and a few others I have never heard of. Since myself and Adam are staying longer we are going to have a different guide and head off deeper into the Amazon over the next few days, not sure exactly how this will work but it should be an adventure.

So the guide did not turn up that afternoon, so we were with the main group having no idea what was going on, ended up fishing for piranha using chicken as bait, caught quite a few and they are much bigger than I expected. I was useless however and failed to catch a thing, fishing has never been my thing. Next day headed out early to see the sunrise from a good vantage point, got a few good photos. Mine and Adams guide has arrived and we are going to go out rowing into the swamp land and try to find some of the rare wildlife, then fishing in the afternoon and a caiman hunting in the evening, I really hope it goes well.

We now have a new guide Ralf but pronounced Half in Portuguese. He knows a lot about the local area and the row into the flooded areas of the forest was good, my camera is not good enough to take the distance shots, but we saw howler monkeys along with various birds and an owl. He was explaining that the water level changes by up to 12 metres at some points, and that during the dry season this is a normal forest but during the wet season it floods. The water does not mainly come from rain, but from further up the right river in Peru the mountains get the rain and the water level of all the Amazon rivers gets higher as a result. Once back we went fishing, Adam has brought a casting rod with him and I had a few goes at casting, it's a little more complicated then I thought. Then more piranha fishing, this time I actually caught one and since we were fishing outside the protected area we could eat them. On the way back I lost my balance getting out the boat and ended up in the river, camera luckily came out rather undamaged even if it took a few dodgy photos in the middle which I am super grateful for, but I have some large bruises on my right leg now grrrrr. Caiman fishing turned out a lot better however and we caught and got pictures with it. We tried catching a larger one but it did not want to happen and we lost the one that we hooked, from the boat the head was at least twice as large as the one Ralf caught by hand.

Morning of the 18th we headed to a local school and Ralf's house which is a short trip up river from the jungle lodge. This afternoon myself and Adam will beheading back into the jungle for round 2.………………