Jungle Bushwhack (May 15)
Today we were outfitted with rubber boots for a deep jungle walk pat of which which turned out to be a machete bushwhack. Our boat took us to a large island that is privately owned. The owner has turned it into a monkey refuge and he accompanied us for a jungle hike. We followed him as he chopped down new growth on the trail he had forged. While we did not see any monkeys on this trail, Anne spotted a 6 foot long, black snake. It was in possession of a large rat which was saved by her exclamation. The snake slithered off quickly and the rat climbed a tree. As we headed deeper into the jungle, we found that the rains from the previous day had created a waist deep stream right in the trail, so we had to bushwhack a new trail back to the shore where out boat was waiting. Both the heat and the humidity made the hikers quite tired as we reached the boat and headed back to the Anakonda - our home vessel. Our boots and pants were quite muddy from our excursion in the jungle.
Yasuni River & Dolphins (May 15)
After lunch, and a siesta, we boarded the canoe again and as the Anakonda was still motoring, we launched toward the Yasuni River, the home of the fabled pink dolphins. After a 45 minute boat ride, we entered the mouth of the Yasuni River and almost immediately saw ripples on the water with the fin of the pink dolphin visible. There seemed to be three of them and our guide speculated that there was a female and two males in a competitive courtship. They surfaced quite often and we had many opportunities to try to capture them on film. Tom took over 50 and came up with less than a handful of images that showed the fin or part of the body. These dolphins are very fast and move around a lot underwater where they can stay submerged for quite a while. After almost an hour we headed further downstream with thee intension of entering a lake. Along the way we saw many species of birds and Sacky Monkeys jumping in the trees