WordPress database error: [Table 'stauchyblog.wp_post2cat' doesn't exist]
SELECT post_id, category_id FROM wp_post2cat WHERE post_id IN (663)

Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Amazon:3, Stauchy:5; Tues-Fri, Jan 22-Feb 1 (JRS)

Amazon:3, Stauchy:5; Tues-Fri, Jan 22-Feb 1 (JRS)

We spent Tues and Wed settling on a tour agency and preparing for our Amazonian experience.  Given that we had so much time before our flight to Rio for Carnival (more than we expected because of our change in plans in Trinidad, Brazil), we had some very cool individualized options to choose from.  We settled on a private trip through Iguana Tours.  We spent 7 nights/8 days based from their private lodging on Lake Juma and headed into the wilds with Negao, our private guide.  We had some reservations with his lack of ability to speak English, but decided to give it a whirl.  It turned out to be a great decision!

lake-juma-184.jpg (a typical picture of our Amazon Adventure)

We left Manaus on Thursday morning and headed for the lodge at Lake Juma.  We stopped briefly at the meeting of the waters and enjoyed the scene in the daylight.  We decided to hang out at the lodge with the organized tour groups for the first night before heading off with Negao.  On the first day, with the large group (about 8-10 people), the day was fairly full of activities.  We did some bird watching, pirannah fishing (Lynette caught two red-bellied), and caiman spotting in the evening. 

img_1446.JPG (The Lodge)

lake-juma2-207.jpg   lake-juma2-215.jpg (Lynette´s fish and a small Caiman)

On Friday morning, we went out on a ¨jungle trek¨with the large group.  Given the large size of the group, we didn´t see any animals of interest, but we did get to try some ant mosquito-repellant (the guide hit a tree to stir up some ants on the trunk and we put our hands on the tree to get a bunch of ants on us, then we mashed them up and rubbed it all over our arms and legs), but it only worked for about 15 minutes.

lake-juma2-219.jpg (and mosquito repellant)

lake-juma2-227.jpg (on our jungle trek)

After lunch on Friday, we took our last shower for the week and met up with Negao, loaded the canoe and set off for our 6 nights with him.  We made it to the camp after about an hour boat ride across the lake.  There was a shelter already set up, which seemed a bit cheesy at first, but it was still very remote feeling, and a good place to spend our first couple of nights out.

lake-juma2-230.jpg (our boat with supplies for 6 days)

lake-juma2-275.jpg (chillin´in my hammock at the camp)

We went pirinah fishing for dinner.  I caught a black piranah, slightly larger than the red-bellied, which Negao cooked for us along with some chicken.  He also made us welcome drink - a caiprinah, which is cashasa (sugar-cane liquor), mashed limes, sugar, and water - the drink of choice in Brazil.  After dinner I noticed a bit on the back of my leg which had caused a half-inch-wide hole.  I still don´t know what caused it.

lake-juma2-234.jpg (The bite on the back of my leg - Ouch!)

After breakfast, Negao told us that we´d be heading out for the day, not to return to camp until that night.  He took us out on a boat up one of the small tributaries of the lake (this would be our usual journey throughout the next few days).  It was really cool to watch him paddle the boat with one hand, making almost no noise whatsoever.  The water-level is about mid-way between low and high water, so the jungle is sort-of half flooded.  So, as we made our way further and further up the river, it became more and more difficult to navigate between the trees and their branches. 

When we couldn´t go any further on the boat, we started walking.  This made us appreciate being in the quiet and comfortable boat.  For lunch, Negau made a quick shelter on the side of the river, started a fire and cooked a bird that he had shot from the boat.  It was a bit tough, but not too bad.

 lake-juma2-239.jpg (The hunter with lunch)

lake-juma2-244.jpg (after feathering it…)

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the boat where we saw quite a few different birds, including macaws, toucans, birds of prey, and several smaller birds.  We also saw a group of Capicino Monkeys go by, which was a definite highlight.  On the way back to camp, I got wacked in the head by a fallen branch - I didn´t see it coming, but I sure felt it!

img_1454.JPG  img_1466.JPG (Macaw and Toucan)

img_1560.JPG (Colorful Bird at the Lodge)

The next day we went to a native family´s house to look around and see what life on the lake was like.  It was sort of interesting, but not really a highlight.  After that, we asked Negao if we could build something out of wood (Feb. 1 is our 5th wedding anniversary, which is traditionally the wood anniversary).  So, we helped him make an oar (well, we mostly just watched him make it, but we took some whacks with the machete).

That evening, we went out on the boat way up one of the tribs, and we sat on the bank to wait for it to get dark.  We made our way back in the dark, which was a really cool experience.  There´s no way that Lynette or I could have found our way out, so we were truely lost in the Amazon if it hadn´t been for our guide.  After dinner, we heard some rustling in the tree and Negao said that it was a group of monkeys passing by.

The next day we left the pre-fab camp and headed across the lake and way up one of the larger tributaries to a new location.  He pulled the boat over in a fairly random location (there were no signs that anyone had been there before).  There, we set up a new camp, including building a pretty decent looking shelter (Negao called it Casa Nova - new house, which of course put the song in our head for the next few days).  We strung up our hammocs and set up our ¨kitchen¨about 100 yards away.  Once it was all set up, about mid-afternoon, we treated ourselves to some welcome Caphirnas - Yum!

lake-juma-158.jpg (building Casa Nova)

lake-juma-176.jpg (our beds)

lake-juma-178.jpg (Us with Negao at Casa Nova)

We went back out on the boat in the evening, paddling as we had done before.  We stopped somewhere to wait for it to get dark, and while we were there, Negao cut a couple of small peices of wood for ¨craft-time in the Amazon¨.  Unfortunately, Lynette gave herself a really bad cut with the pocket knife.  We were a bit worried that it might have to cut our trip short for worry about it getting infected.  But, when we got back to camp, we were able to use steri-strips and bandages to get it closed up pretty good (we figured that it would be a huge scar, but by the time we got back to get stitches, it would be too late anyway).

lake-juma-166.jpg (ouch!)

At this point, the Amazon was kicking our ass, between my bite and getting whacked in the head, and Lynette´s hand.  So far, it was Amazon:3, Stauchy: 2 (the first and fourth day nothing bad happened).  We thought this was a bad omen, but luckily we prevailed in the end with us going unscathed for the final three days.

We spent the next two nights in Casa Nova doing similar activities.  We were lucky enough to see a river otter, and a few more monkeys, this time a large group in clear view as the jumpped from one tree to another.  Some of them sat and watched us curiously, so I was able to get a few decent pictures.

img_1514.JPG (river otter, you´ll have to trust me)

img_1525.JPG (Capuchino Monkey!)

On day 7, we broke camp and went back to the main camp where we had spent the first night.  That evening we went out to fish for a huge fish - no luck catching a fish, but we did see one surface for a minute; it looked like a dolphin, it must have been 1.5 to 2 meters!  During that outing we were also treated to a great view of a Pink Dolphin, which was something Lynette was really wanting to see while we were there.  They are very rare, and the amazon is one of the only places in the world where you can spot them.

img_1573.JPG (Grey River Dolphins Playing)

img_1576.JPG (The rare Pink River Dolphin - too bad you can´t really see the pink in this picture, but you can trust us that it was there)

On the last day we went caiman spotting on the main lake and made it back to the main camp just before the sky opened and it poured for about an hour.  After lunch we headed back to Manaus, thuroughly fufilled by our Amazon adventure.  We stayed in the same hotel as the night before our outing, getting packed for our flight to Rio late the next night.  We hung out in town the next day taking care of small errands and internet and headed to the airport around midnight, excited and apprehensive about Carnival and the city known for its crime and beautiful scenery.

WordPress database error: [Table 'stauchyblog.wp_post2cat' doesn't exist]
SELECT post_id, category_id FROM wp_post2cat WHERE post_id IN (663)

Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.