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Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday 22nd January, Santarem

Sadly, I've not had enough internet connection to add pictures to anything yet.  I promise I will as soon as I'm able.  This, and the sea day blogs have been uploaded from the cruise terminal in Manaus.

So we are on the Amazon River in Brazil, and as usual, I am up at the crack of dawn and on the decks to get photographs of the bugs that have landed overnight.  But there aren't any, or at least there are very few.

When I say there aren't any, that isn't strictly true, there are thousands of midges, hundreds and hundreds of scarab beetles and crickets, and quite a few small moths.  But there is nothing big.  The crew are cleaning up, sweeping and hoovering everything away, but they hadn't got everywhere.  I'm disappointed and a little puzzled.  Why are there not any of the bigger moths?  I hunted anyway, and I did find an awesome black witch and a parce sphinx, and someone else spotted an amazing little bat.  So not all was lost.

Peter and I were escorting today and we were going Piranha fishing. The ship was a little late berthing, but we were in the Magellan show lounge at 9.15 ready to go with all the passengers onto the river boats.  But this is Brazil, and we have learnt that nothing ever runs smoothly in Brazil. There seemed to be a problem setting up the gangway.  Out of the window, we could see a crane had been brought in to help, and there were constant announcements telling us that the Brazillian port authorities were not yet on board to clear the ship.  It was well over an hour before it all finally worked out, and my little river boat left to start it's tour an hour and a quarter later than planned. (Peter was on a different river boat).

It's an excellent excursion and everyone who goes on it loves the fact that you get to go up the tributary to see the jungle proper. It's not really thick in this area, but there is an awful lot of wildlife about. I got to see this amazing dragonfly, ringed kingfishers, a sloth and river dolphins.  I heard the parrots, but I never saw one, although Peter managed to get a photo (I'm jealous).

Because the excursion had started late, it was twenty past two by the time we got back, so it was a quick lunch and then a walk into Santarem.  We were hoping to be able to wander around the area we'd visited last year which was filled with butterflies, but sadly it seemed to be all burned away.  No matter, we walked on and I got some good pictures of a Wattled Jacana, (which I've never managed before), as well as of a Kiskadee and an Egret. We also got to see the pink dolphins at the back of the fish market.

The heat was draining though, and we turned back from there.  Back at the ship I managed to get this picture of a Fork tailed flycatcher taking off (very pleased). Then it was into the cabin and a cold shower.  We'll be taking several of those whilst we are here, it's the best way to cool off in this heat.

Tomorrow we are at Boca do Valeria.  Another favourite.  More news to come, and hopefully pictures too.

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