Day 284 – Amazon Jungle Day 1

Day 284 – Amazon Jungle Day 1       06/01/11       Mileage: o

Today was day one of a two day trip into the Amazon Jungle and it began when our car picked us up to take us down to the docks where we would catch the first of 3 boats.

The fish in the lower right are piranha!

The first boat took us across to the south bank of the Amazon River. Along the way we crossed the “Meeting of the Waters” which is where the black water of the Rio Negro and muddy brown water of the Rio Solimões come together and run parallel for a few miles before mixing together.

Here is a shot from a plane which is much more clear….

Next was a 40 minute van ride to catch boat number two which would take us to the outfitter base camp on a small tributary of the Amazon.

L to R: John, Ian and our guide Antonio

At the base camp we had nice lunch and were entertained by a small monkey that had us all laughing.

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Piranha…it’s whats for lunch…

After letting lunch settle for a bit we packed boat number three….a motorized canoe…which would take us deeper yet into the jungle.

Machette…check, tarp shelter….check, bug spray…check…….crapload of beer…..check!

In addition to John, Ian and myself, we were joined by a lovely couple from the UK and a young guy from Holland.

Our guides name was Antonio whom we had met the day before while booking the trip. He grew up in the mountains of southern Guyana and speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and two local Indian dialects…amazing. So with the boat packed we headed deeper into the jungle.

After cruising along a small river we entered the flooded forest while Antonio pointed things out to us along the way…including several large spiders which were kind of hard to miss!

Just in case you missed it…that is one big spider!

Once back in more open water we came upon a pod of river dolphins that were all around the canoe…amazing.

Continuing on we headed back into another flooded forest, this time to do some piranha fishing!

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OK, so they are not very big, but I guess if you were surrounded by 500 of them all taking a bite out of you, you might be in some trouble! Did I mention that our wooden canoe had a leak and we had to continually bail it out…yep. So after amateur angler hour was over, we went out in search of a place to setup camp for the night. We went deeper into the bush down a small stream, then a smaller stream until Antonio found a suitable site which we began clearing by hand and with machetes.

We then helped him construct our shelter which we made from several cut tree trunks and blue tarp.

 Next we hung the hammocks under the shelter and covered them with the all important mosquito net….as we are square in the middle of the malaria zone.

After camp was set we got back into the canoe and went to a native’s house where we had dinner and some great conversation.

With our bellies full it was back to the canoe, but before heading back to camp Antonio took us looking for caiman…the Amazon’s answer to an alligator! They can apparently grow up to 15 feet….much larger than the canoe, so lucky for us the one he caught was just a 7-9 month old little guy.

 Those who wanted to hold him got their chance, but then it was time to let him go before his little chirps for help were answered by mommy! Once back in camp we built a fire and had some nice ice cold beers before retiring to our hammocks….now this is the life…..

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7 Responses to Day 284 – Amazon Jungle Day 1

  1. Josh and davina says:

    Loving the blog and can’t wait to read part 2 and see the photos of ian’s back. Please send our details on and let us know how to contact John and Ian.

    Enjoy the rest of your travels!

    • Lenny says:

      Hey guys! It was nice spending the two days in the jungle with you! Ian’s back got drilled more than a shallow oil well…but he’s fine now. The post of the second day of the trek should be up soon. I passed on your email to Ian and John…. Safe travels!!

  2. lisa says:

    Insane!!! I cannot believe you – that is crazy stuff!! I have so many questions and comments that I can’t wait to ask when I see you!! Maybe you should try out for Survivor when you get home and win a million dollars!! loved the portuguese bday song. So glad you met those guys to complete this part of our journey with. All good here. 2 weeks left! Yay!! Love, Lisa

  3. Arlene says:

    Lenny, everyone tells me to tell you to write a book. I think your idea of selling stories from the blog is a great idea because you keep people at the edge of their seats. I cannot imagine gettin to the dock and not seeing the boat with all your possessions on it.

    You sure did lots of riding today and looks like you are close to Venezala. Be well and safe. Love ya, Mom

  4. Arlene says:

    HI LENNY. I SEE THAT YOU CROSSED THE BORDER INTO VENEZUELA AND HOPE YOU DIDN’T HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME. HOW ARE THE GAS PRICES COMPARED TO BRAZIL??????

    SHOWED MAYA YOUR VIDEOS ON THE AMAZON TODAY AND SHE LOVED THEM. LOVED THE MONKEY AND THE FISH EATING THE LEAVES. SHE PARTICIPATED IN A SHOW AT SCHOOL TODAY AND WE ALL HAD A REALLY GREAT DAY.

    TIME TO RELAX NOW AND WE WILL CHECK TOMORROW TO SEE WHERE YOU ARE. BE WELL AND BE SAFE. LOVE YA, MOM AND DAD

  5. Arlene says:

    Hi Lenny, Looks like you have left Caracas and moving southwest. All is well here and everyone sends their regards. Just spoke to Aunt Helen and she is one of your main cheerleaders………she sent regards.

    Be well and safe and talk to you soon. Love ya, Mom

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