Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Peru Trip with Wildside Nature Tours, Day 4: The Magic Cove

Kimberly Writes: Day four delivered one of my favorite experiences of the entire trip. After breakfast, we boarded the small, motorized, and maneuverable skiffs for our morning expedition. These small skiffs made it possible to penetrate deep into the flooded forests. A light rain was falling, but it did nothing to dampen the spirit of the day, and our group of intrepid travelers was richly rewarded.

We zoomed along the main river for several minutes before the skiff slowed and turned off onto a smaller corridor. We motored slowly for several minutes, and then, with a soft rain beating a gentle rhythm on the surface of the water, we passed through a dark, narrow corridor...

...and into a place that felt untouched by time.
Here, drifting along in a secret cove tucked away in a flooded forest along the Amazon River, the kid in me imagined that we were the first humans to visit this magical place. And my heart created a special place to tuck this memory away for safe keeping. 

Fields of Giant Lily Pads added to the majesty of this place, and we paused to marvel at their expanse and explore the life forms on these floating refuges.

High in a tree in the far off distance, a strange looking lump turned 
out to be a Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth reminding us, yet again, 
that we were far from home in a magical place.

And, oh my, the birds... 
When this giant creature came crash-landing out of the rain and into 
the trees above us, every person in our boat held their breath in disbelieving awe. 
And when the guide quietly, but with great glee said, "HOATZIN," 
even the name of the bird was perfect for this dramatic scene.

Add if one Hoatzin is great, just imagine what TWO would be like!
 The sun peeked out and these two began a ritualistic dance designed
 to dry their drenched feathers. And it was spectacular!

Even the common Striated Heron stepped up its game, posing on a 
log stage with a prize. But no ordinary fish would do for this performance, no siree. 
This special heron delivered a Red-bellied PIRANHA to the scene.

And as we left the cove, an immature Great Black Hawk 
bid us farewell in fetching fashion, expressing confused curiosity 
of the strange creatures floating past, cloaked in colorful rain ponchos! 
The perfect closing to a remarkable morning.

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