iquitos - day 2
saturday, we got up at about 8, for a 9 o'clock tour. first, we loaded the boat to go look for pink and gray freshwater dolphins. we had to go to the reserve, pacaya-samiria, which is bigger than costa rica or belgium; gigantic. we entered the reserve, then quickly got into the river network. this was awesome! the water was so dark, the plants were all aquatic (or at least were able to survive in water), and there were amazing views. one cool thing, was when a wave would hit the (not)shore, the plants would move with it because they are not anchored on the ground. very cool. another cool thing was the water line. it was about 4 or 5 feet above the current water line, that is crazy high river. the amazon is amazing.
anyway, we traveled a little ways, then saw the dolphins! they were really dolphins! and we even saw a pink one! the guides had funny calls; whistles, clicks, and a farting noise. i die listening to it. the dolphins didn't get hight out of the water, but we could still see them! after seeing them, we kept going in the boat, saw some sloths, monkeys, lots and lots of birds (herons especially) and amazing scenery. no place looks even remotely the same as the other, it was all so unique. even a minute of moving, and you would not think you were even remotely close to the same place.
we kept going for a long time (like three hours) then got into a lagoon where we could swim! the water was black because of the acidness eating and decomposing everything, so it was eery. we jumped in and swam a while! nice and refreshing, cool but not too cold. and we even saw a dolphin or two swimming with us. they stayed around for a few minutes before disappearing. now i can officially say i swam with wild dolphins. we swam for a little more then got back in to go eat. they said loading dinner, and they were right. they just tied us to a tree and our cook from the lodge started cutting open leave wraps filled with rice and chicken. now that was yummy! and cool to look at. after eating, we went to go fish for piranhas. we drove (in a boat of course) and then pulled into a thick area in the marsh. we all got our poles and went at it. right off the bat, the other boat started catching things galore. my boat didn't catch much. . . andrea caught the biggest, and it was huge! i didn't catch anything until the last minute when i went up to the front and fished. they were tiny and i never actually got them in the boat, they got off before then. oh well, i got two, i can say.
after fishing and keeping about 7 of them, we returned to the bungalows for a bathroom break before heading right back out into a different part of the reserve. we went to a village called 20 de enero, or 20 of january. the villagers are allowed to live there because they lived there before the park was an actual park, but there are restrictions on their food and hunting. while in the village, we learned to climb a palm tree. the villagers used to cut them down, but that takes years for new trees to grow and even more time for the fruit to grow. we all got to climb up. it was tough. there are two groups you had to use and it was hard! i got the highest at about half the tree height. after that, we had to go back because it was getting dark.
it was a little disorienting on the ride back because it was so dark, the river was so big, and i had no idea where i was. but we got back safely, and ate dinner. good, of course. i look the food, and all the rice is amazing! we had the piranha too! it was whole, like the fish i had in costa rica. teeth and all. it was good tho. reminded me of my cabin. and i kept the bottom teeth of one of them. after dinner, it was legend time!
the workers told legends about the forest. like the water god, the animal protector, and the god of the forest. it was really neat! bed shortly after.
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