Archive | October, 2013

Made it to the Border!

Amazonian Internet cafes have successfully killed my will to write long, verbose blogs and run on sentences. So I’m limiting this blog to a few bullet points and a bird list.

• We made it to the Brasil! Don now pauses frequently to scan the banks for the famed g-string clad Brasilian beauty. So far, he hasn’t spotted one, but I will update this status once we get to Manaus.

• The river dolphins continue to evade our photographic efforts, although we still see them frequently.

• A few days before arriving at the Brasil/Peru/Colombia border, we hit the confluence with the Rio Napo. For those of you who are a little rusty on your Amazon Basin geography, the Napo comes from Ecuador. Every river on the Eastern Slope of the Andes that Don and I used to guide on in Ecuador flows into the Napo, so it was special for us to see the terminus. We also particularly enjoyed the Napo because it had very good flow and help to carry us downriver.

• Peruvian bird list for all you bird nerds out there. The birds are listed in no particular order.

Neotropic cormorant
Great egret
Striated heron
Fasciated tiger heron
Jabiru (stork)
Roseate spoonbill
Andean swift
Swallow tailed kite
Horned screamer
Andean goose
Andean condor
Black vulture
Turkey vulture
Black collared hawk
Black chested buzzard eagle
Spix’s guan
Sunbittern
Salvin’s curassow
Chilean flamingo
Common nighthawk
White throated toucan
Lots of terns…just not sure which ones
Torrent duck
Cattle egret
Snowy egret
Black crowned night heron
Puna ibis
Yellow headed caracara
Osprey
Red throated caracara
Collared plover
Sandpipers–not sure which ones
Blue and yellow macaw
Blue headed macaw
White eyed parakeet
Parrots and parrotlets–tons of them, but very hard to identify which ones
Greater ani
Swifts–not sure which ones
Ringed kingfisher
Aracaris…again, not sure which ones
Emerald toucanet
Andean coot
Green jay (aka inca jay)
Crested oropendola
Yellow rumped cacique
Martins. Lots! Don’t know which
White-capped dipper

Ok, that is it until we hit Manaus. Bye bye Peru, viva Brasil!

Kayak the Amazon in Photos

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The team at the source of the Amazon back on July 28th. High altitude and cold weather!

As many of you have noted, and pointed out to me, we have really sucked at updating our blog especially with photos.  The internet in the upper reaches of the Amazon hasn’t been all we had hoped for.  But I have a bit of time and good internet on my hands, so here is a photo tour of our last 65 days.  Enjoy!  We probably won’t be able to update again until Manaus which will be in a month or so.

 

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Don and Midge on Lago Acucocha. We paddled across this lake and then hiked up the valley behind it to reach to source of the Amazon.

 

 

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The kayaking was intermittent the first few days. Sometimes we could float down the narrow river bed or through irrigation canals, but other times we took to walking.

It was really cold back then, but we definitely do NOT have that problem now.  The outdoor thermometer in Iquitos read 45 degrees celcius when we arrived.

It was really cold back then, but we definitely do NOT have that problem now. The outdoor thermometer in Iquitos read 45 degrees celcius when we arrived.

enjoying a sunny evening before the sun sets and temps plummet.

enjoying a sunny evening before the sun sets and temps plummet.

 

Midge getting some whitewater (brownwater) early on.  We are on the Rio San Juan here near the San Juan Mine.

Midge getting some whitewater (brownwater) early on. We are on the Rio San Juan here near the San Juan Mine.

D and D camping in the highlands--yep, still cold up here!  This is just below the Upamayo dam

D and D camping in the highlands–yep, still cold up here! This is just below the Upamayo dam

Ah, finally some whitewater and canyons!  This is the first section of serious whitewater below Huancayo.

Ah, finally some whitewater and canyons! This is the first section of serious whitewater below Huancayo.

Tablachaca dam, safety first.

Tablachaca dam, safety first.

Being a team of 3, we didn't get any real whitewater shots (safety reasons) so you'll have to wait for GOPRO footage on that one.  But here is Don in a calm, but impressive (geologically speaking) canyon.

Being a team of 3, we didn’t get any real whitewater shots (safety reasons) so you’ll have to wait for GOPRO footage on that one. But here is Don in a calm, but impressive (geologically speaking) canyon.

Don and Midge with some more nice scenery.  This is approaching the Sala De Machinas of Tablachaca dam

Don and Midge with some more nice scenery. This is approaching the Sala De Machinas of Tablachaca dam

This cow was VERY unhappy to cross this bridge.  I can't blame her, I didn't want to cross it either!

This cow was VERY unhappy to cross this bridge. I can’t blame her, I didn’t want to cross it either!

As we passed a huge mine between Tablachaca Sala De Machinas and the new dam going in on the Mantaro, we were flagged down and told to stop.  The mining engineers drove down in their Hilux trucks and brought us water and presents--we are showing off the presents here--hats and scarves.  EXTREMELY thoughtful of them, but not so useful as we had already gotten into catus land and hot temps.  But here we are showing off our wares.

As we passed a huge mine between Tablachaca Sala De Machinas and the new dam going in on the Mantaro, we were flagged down and told to stop. The mining engineers drove down in their Hilux trucks and brought us water and presents–we are showing off the presents here–hats and scarves. EXTREMELY thoughtful of them, but not so useful as we had already gotten into catus land and hot temps. But here we are showing off our wares. They will be very useful when we returned to the northern hemisphere in the middle of winter!

Great camping spots in the canyons of the Mantaro.

Great camping spots in the canyons of the Mantaro.

Another whitewater shot.  This section we named the "crucible."  It was full of CA-style granite and made for some great whitewater.

Another whitewater shot. This section we named the “crucible.” It was full of CA-style granite and made for some great whitewater.

Malpaso dam, this portage was a bit tricky but we successfully navigated the concertina wire with only one puncture wound (to Darcy's hand)

Malpaso dam, this portage was a bit tricky but we successfully navigated the concertina wire with only one puncture wound (to Darcy’s hand)

Not too far downstream of Hunacayo, we stopped for a little side diversion to do what we think was a 1st descent of this little gem.  Reminds me of Havasu in the Grand Canyon!

Not too far downstream of Hunacayo, we stopped for a little side diversion to do what we think was a 1st descent of this little gem. Reminds me of Havasu in the Grand Canyon!

What are the odds, kayak and kayak...

What are the odds, kayak and kayak…

But sadly, all good whitewater comes to an end and we traded our whitewater boats for these giant flat water kayaks.  You can imagine what a circus we were in Puerto Ene

But sadly, all good whitewater comes to an end and we traded our whitewater boats for these giant flat water kayaks. You can imagine what a circus we were in Puerto Ene

Ah flatwater, get used to it!

Ah flatwater, get used to it!

David keeping himself safe in the Red Zone (no one would mess with a dude drinking beer and wearing those pants)!

David keeping himself safe in the Red Zone (no one would mess with a dude drinking beer and wearing those pants)!

It's still darn pretty here on the flatwater, and the guys with guns seem quite nice!

It’s still darn pretty here on the flatwater, and the guys with guns seem quite nice! And yes, I am wearing pink crocs.

ah, luxurious lodging in Puerto Prado--end of the Ene River and start of the Tambo River

ah, luxurious lodging in Puerto Prado–end of the Ene River and start of the Tambo River

The big Amazonian sky, just below the confluence of Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, now we are on the Amazon baby!

The big Amazonian sky, just below the confluence of Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, now we are on the Amazon baby!

River Kids

River Kids

Favored mode of transport down here.

Favored mode of transport down here.

No, no, Don wasn't going to the tanning booth just for his fingers...12 hours per day in the sun plus doxycyline is NOT a good combination!

No, no, Don wasn’t going to the tanning booth just for his fingers…12 hours per day in the sun plus doxycyline is NOT a good combination!

David enjoying life on the Perolita!

David enjoying life on the Perolita!

Francisco, Perolita captain, adjusting to life with the gringos...

Francisco, Perolita captain, adjusting to life with the gringos…

Storks!

Storks!

Our navy escort!  The big boat didn't come with us on a daily basis, but we did get to tour it and it's amazing!

Our navy escort! The big boat didn’t come with us on a daily basis, but we did get to tour it and it’s amazing!

Floating houses make sense down here where the water level will raise and fall more than 10 meters each year.

Floating houses make sense down here where the water level will raise and fall more than 10 meters each year.

Don Mauro repairing the Perolita's fishing net.  The boys are getting a lot of fresh fish on this trip, way to eat locally!

Don Mauro repairing the Perolita’s fishing net. The boys are getting a lot of fresh fish on this trip, way to eat locally!

Lots of great clouds down here.

Lots of great clouds down here.

Well, that's it for now.  We hope you enjoyed the photos.  More to come someday...

Well, that’s it for now. We hope you enjoyed the photos. More to come someday…