The River

Miercoles 21Apr10

The River

Enterprising vines into dominance smother defenseless trees.  Occasional tiny yellow flowers, scarlet, fuschia, golden berries, a few new leaves here in bronze, there in red, the river a coffee-brown mirror, but overall green, green, green.  Tiny bats sleeping on the shady side of a log (see photo) allowed us to photograph them camouflaged and then flitted away.

The river narrowed with fallen trees and Jose hacked away with his machete.  A small yellow leaf hung by a single strand of spider’s web, twirling in the miniscule breeze along the top of the water.  An owl with a white face, a masked trogon with a red chest.

A large tree had fallen over our path.  Jose chopped away at a low branch (see his machete in the photo), we huddlde down and coasted beneath the trunk.  Birds above us were screaming whey wenya but we couldn’t see them.  The trees were crowding the river and the shade was delightful.

We had seen many large dragonflies, but most of them were tan, a few gorgeous morpho butterflies, iridescent blue, always too quick for us to snap their picture.  There were several bee nests, made of mud, high on tree trunks, but I had seen no bees.  We slide over a tree trunk just under the water.

We turned down a side stream and the guys silently paddled with the leaf-shaped paddles.  We slipped through a veil of air roots.  Tiny birds, the same size as the leaves, screamed at us.  Mary spotted a sapsucker, but all of the rest hid from view.

Presently we were just floating in the flooded forest.  A bird shrieked wee weenya and one more answered from the other side.  The constant creaking of insects.  A bird chirrupped, another tweeted, but the forest was thick and we didn’t see them.

The Director’s House

We drifted back down- stream and heard the sound of chainsaws.  We picked up Jim for lunch.  Watched the guys raise the first wall of the “Director’s House”.  Winches hung from the trees on one side, men pushing w/ boards on the other.

When we got off the boat at “camp” I immediately headed for the shower, having forgotten to take one the day before until 6pm when it was too dark.  I turned on the water in the black bucket above my head, and the water was hot!  Like 92°!  I told Jim that he needed one black bucket and one white bucket for hot and cold water.  I really wanted a splash in that cool river.

Hand-powered Fans

After lunch it was so sultry that Mary and I took siestas, not because we were tired, but because it was too sweltering to even read or write.  Later Mary remembered that she had bought two small ”hand-powered” woven fans in Iquitos last year.  Sure enough, they had been packed at the bottom of the tent chest.  We spent the next hour or so reading with one hand, fanning with the other.  The temperature would be tolerable if the air moved.  The humidity was not too high; my towel, hung on the “guardrail” in the sun was completely dry in a few hours.

I became attached to that fan.

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One Response to “The River”

  1. leslie sawyer Says:

    Wow! What a wonderful adventure you are having! I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs. leslie

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