Posted by: tim ellis | August 21, 2005

Brazil – 23 September 2002

We are supposed to go on a dawn trip this morning leaving at 5.30, but starting around 3.15 is a terrific rain storm, so it is cancelled. The rain has stopped by breakfast, but the temperature is several degrees cooler (and much more comfortable). We set out across the lake to visit a local village, taking detours to look for wildlife on the way – fleeting glimpses of dolphin – Including a large group, as well as cormorants, swallows etc. Elio suddenly stops the boat. He has seen Toucan in one of the trees – even though he can see them with the naked eye no one else can see them until they fly. A little later the boat is stopped again as the boatman has heard monkeys- we are paddled towards the direction of the sound and I get a brief glimpse of a Squirrel Monkey amongst the branches.

The village is small with a couple of gift shops and a small church (there is also a clinic where according to Elio the doctor comes once a month).

It rains on and off through the morning though it is getting brighter and hotter when we arrive back at the lodge although there is an ominous rumble of thunder during lunch which seems to be getting closer!

The doesn’t come however and it is still (relatively) cool when we set out on our afternoon trip to the Arriau river – a small river that joins the Amazon (Suiliman?) and Negro rivers – it flows into the Negro, so the banks have different sorts of trees. Again we see a variety of wildlife – mostly birds (kingfisher, royal egret,subittern (a sort of small bittern – I may have the spelling wrong) but also catfish, dolphin and a troop of squirrel monkeys). Then as we stop to look for some ‘jungle chicken’ the motor on the boat develops a fault. (some sort of stripped gear?) after much banging it is eventually repaired with some lengths of tape measure – since this has taken around an hour the rest of the tour is taken at a less leisurely pace and we don’t have time to stop again (not that we’d necessarily want to risk it) as it is we end up returning to the lodge in Darkness – broken only by the occasional flash of lightning.

Just for a change tonight’s meal is rice, spaghetti, beef & chicken… rain

Talking of wildlife Ian & Brenda go one up on everyone else… I have had frogs in my room Didi has had a frog, a cockroach & a spider, but they have now found a Scorpion!

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