The amazing trip through the Amazon rainforest was one exciting adventure after another. Whilst the wildlife doesn't jump out at you or is presented to you like you get at a zoo, it's the adventure in searching from them through the bushes, trees, and in the water.


I want to just summarise some of the things I saw.





Monkeys


On two occasions we witnessed families of monkeys jumping about from tree to tree and having some fun.  The monkeys of course aren't the size of the gorillas, these are much smaller - about the size of a cat, and are apparently the loudest monkeys on the planet - howler monkeys.


Unlike some I certainly did not have the Attenborough skill; some can spot these animals from so far away. Where as I, usually the one with the camera, struggled to spot them and have the time to take a picture.


Birds



The bird below actually has a frog in its mouth. Yummy.















The rainforest is awash with the most magnificent birds. Observing them swooping in to catch prey, or simply chatting to each other is quite majestic. A highlight for us (and the time where we had to sit and wait for two hours) was observing the behaviour of the Parrat Clay lick.





A vast array of these beautiful parrots patrol the skies heading down towards the ground. Their target, a very tiny cave, to pick up food left by monkeys as it's too acidic.  But how do the parrots cope with the acidity. They lick the clay on the surrounding hillside first to coat their mouths. They do this everyday and normally around the same time each morning.





As they start to descend, from tree top to tree top, they gather more and more confidence to go down further. You see there are a lot of predators around that I'm sure knows their schedule too. On about two or three occasions the parrots were spooked by a prod of pray, or a jaguar on the ground. So they all flew off, and started the sequence of descent once again.


A little frustrating, but once their confidence came back and they eventually landed on the ground. The site was remarkable. And the sound; deafining.









Caymen


Is it a bird, is it a plane?  No! It's actually like a crocodile. When our guide Freddie said tonight we are getting on a boat to look for some monkeys and some caymans, I had the binoculars firmly up at the trees. As night fell we brought out our torches, and whilst slowly moving a long in this beautiful lagoon, we were told to point to the banks of the water.





Freddie lit up with excitement as the eyes of the Caymen were reflected back to us from the torch light. We thought, wow that must be a pretty big bird. Though it turned out to be even more cool.


This green crocodile type animal, was resting by the water waiting for it's next prey. They can be quite large animals, though the few that we saw were juveniles. Lucky really, as we got pretty close to them.





Spiders, flies and Mosquitos


I have a very childish fear of spiders. Strange, that whilst living in Australia I should be used to them (the country, in fact my back garden, has some of the most dangerous spiders in the world living there). But for me in the Amazon rainforest I began not to worry about them so much. Perhaps it's mainly because the amount of times I saw spiders running across my arm or running down my trousers I just stopped caring. I simply picked them up and threw them away.














It's interesting too that on the Anakonda! the crew have a good relationship with the spiders.  They'll allow them, only at night to build their webs outside, so long as the crew can brush them away in the morning before the guests get up. This deal works so well as, I kid you not, the moment the sun disappears from the horizon, a whole army of them just appear on the deck, hurryingly building their webs to capture those deadly Mosquitos and flies. Genius really.






For the flies and Mosquitos, during our trip looking for Caymen, our torches attracted every single fly within about 10km radius. There was actually a wall of flies. I think I ate about a kilogram of them. It was crazy, and I've never experienced anything like it. At the sometime however it's quite remarkable too. And again you quickly get used to it.




Pink Dolphins


We were really lucky to have been able to spot some pink dolphins whilst slowly canoeing down a river in the Peruvian part of the Amazon (our Amazon trip started in Ecuador). These solitary animals glide through the river searching for food. They don't appear to behave like you'd expect from a dolphin, in that they're not playful, jumping in and out of the water.


The term pink dolphins actually is misdescription. They aren't normally pink. The turn pink when they are stressed or frightened. I have the same effect in the sun (but perhaps that's more red than pink).


To capture these dolphins was pretty difficult as it was occasionally appearing and disappearing for air, thus making it tricky to capture its face. The picture I took is pretty poor, but surprisingly this is actually best of a number of shots i took (looking at it, it could be anything, but we did actually see it's face).






The Weird and Wonderful


There were a huge number of other animals, insects and plants that I want to share in some photos. Many of which I don't know the name of (I welcome suggestions).  What I hope the pictures show is that there is such a diverse amount of species in the Amazon that you should go and explore it yourself. For me a week is not long enough, I merely scratched the surface. I left the Amazon with a greater respect for our planet, about its fragility and how the Amazon is nature at its finest. Nature rocks!


















Hunting for more plants:




The plant below is called a Giant Ginger!


















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