Whoops! I’ve now had the longest delay between posts… I blame the month of June for this. I guess here in Manitoba, when summer hits, EVERYTHING happens all at once, our lives become a flurry of activity filled with friends, family, gorgeous weather, picnics, and festivals — all mashed together quickly before school lets out and everyone heads for the lakes for the summer. And so, June is NUTS. Whatever, this is devolving into just one big long pathetic excuse for why I haven’t been writing for awhile. Onward!
So, I last wrote about dolphins and piranhas in the Amazon. Well! The next morning, I woke up, showered in our little treehouse high up in the treetops, finally had a chance to put on fresh makeup (thanks to our recovered luggage), prepared for the morning’s expedition. At breakfast, and our guide Willy told us we’d be going to see the giant lily pads, with Evan and Amy (the biologists whose company I found enjoyable and fascinating).
We got in the little boat, happy that this time there were only four of us guests in the boat, not seven. We felt more at-ease with this arrangement.
Willy paddled the little boat out to little Amazonian arteries, which became smaller and shallower and more like a swamp than anything… we saw a lot of vultures consuming the dead fish left on the banks from the receding waters.
In rainier seasons, the water would be at least 6 feet higher…
And then in a quiet swampy area, we saw them — giant lily pads!
We had watched Rio 2 on the plane, so we were well-prepared for what we were to encounter on this day.
I say that tongue-in-cheek of course. But it was pretty neat to see the real versions of what we’d seen in the cartoon.
I don’t know if you can tell from these pictures… but I had noted in my journal that the giant lily pads had spikes on them.
The lily-buds look kind of… ominous.
Amy was kind enough to take this fun photo of Andrew and I, with Willy. We were having a great day!
The skies were super-blue and the sun was super-glaring. The birds loved it.
There is a wild Amazonian chicken in the tree here… kinda blends in. You’d never want to eat one… their flesh actually tastes very disgusting. They are very safe in the jungle apparently, because no predator enjoys eating them, and they look very crazy.
As we sat happily in the boat, soaking up the serene morning and taking in the fantastical giant lily pads, we suddenly heard a very deep rumble… it was so deep, I actually felt it vibrate in the back of my throat… but it felt like it came from the depths of the earth. Then I heard bubbling, and several meters away I saw bubbles emerging in the water in one particular spot. We all froze. I assumed we were all similarly terrified.
“What was that?” I asked.
Willy grinned widely. “Probably a caiman.”
“Is that like a crocodile?”
“Yes… but bigger.” He looked very pleased to relay this information to me.
I sat frozen in horror. This was going to be my last moment on earth. I was convinced the caiman would launch out of the water and eat our boat and ourselves in one giant bite.
Have you watched Jurassic World? I haven’t, but I’m assuming the premise is the same as the other Jurassic Park movies, wherein the biologists are super-fascinated by the dinosaurs and love them so much and want to sit there and study them and nurture them without ever thinking these creatures might be interested in eating them.
Well… I think I know where this crazed-scientist character has come from. Probably situations just like this.
Because I was like, “HEY, let’s get the hell AWAY FROM HERE NOW.”
But Amy and Evan were very interested in seeing this caiman. That’s actually an understatement. There were fascinated and eager to meet and possibly study this man-eating lizard. And Willy really wanted to show these guests some fantastical Amazonian wildlife. So we sat there in the boat, staring at the bubble-spot, patiently awaiting our demise.
Staring at the spot we saw the bubbles and heard the rumbling. I was CONVINCED this was my last moment on earth.
But then… nothing happened. THANK GOODNESS. I’d never been so happy to be among disappointed people. Our asses were hurting and we had waited for about half an hour (eternity) and it was time to move on.
Vultures, searching for something to eat. Thankfully, they did not pick our bones on this day.
As we went by the Treehouse Lodge on our way to our next adventure, a boat was arriving to either drop off new guests, or take current guests back to Iquitos.
But we weren’t stopping. Our next adventure was going to be spear-fishing!