Okay, if you meet anyone who's going to one of the rare places left in the world still barely touched by the hand of man, where nature still operates as it has for millennia, we're not only going there for the flora and vistas, we want to catch sight of some of the world's rare animals, and #1 on my list was the elusive and beautiful jaguar.
I constantly bugged my guide about the possibility. "Where's the jaguar," I would ask, "What do you think the odds are that I'll see the big cat?" ... "when's the last time you saw one?" Apparently only four days earlier a group of Chilean girls were kayaking down the river when a jaguar jumped into the water, swam, caught the world's largest rodent called a capybara, which can grow upwards of 150 pounds (now that's a big rat!) and pulled it back onto land and into the jungle. Wish I was here for that!
|capybara on the riverbank|
spotting a capybara in the morning on the riverbank
One afternoon as I rested for siesta in the hammock, my guide excitedly wakes me from my nap. "A jaguar is nearby," he yells, I'm already grabbing my camera and putting on my boots, sprinting up towards the riverbank. "We could hear him roaring moments ago."
We jump in the boat and head out crossing the river from where the noise emanated. We circle back and forth hoping to catch sight of the large cat, whose nearby presence is verified by the unusual amount of squawking from the birds and forest animals. Unfortunately, the cat doesn't make an appearance outside the trees, and my suggestion of entering the forest is shot down by my guide as incredibly unlikely to have a desired outcome.
|the best photo of a monkey I have from the jungle (center)|
|if you look closely you'll see a toucan in the upper left part of the tree|
wildlife photography ain't easy
|Polly the Parrot is easy to make friends with|
deadly spiders of the Amazon
releasing the caiman back into the Tombopato River
|a large grasshopper (se morto)|
But the highlight of the area is the Macaw Clay-lick, an hour and a half away by boat, where the macaws feed on the nutrients in the clay each morning to detoxify their body.
You can take a look at the clay lick from afar below and (hopefully) hear the Howler Monkeys sounding off.
howler monkeys sounding off at the macaw clay lick (turn up your volume)
|photo I took with my camera via a telescopic lens|
of the macaws feeding