We left the ship again in skiffs at 6:30am for a safari along a tributary to the Amazon. At the river junction, we signed in to the visitor’s book before being allowed to enter the protected space of Yacayako River. The river was glass smooth and the birds were plentiful. Fortunately, our guide was not on a hunting trip today and he is quick to notice some species we had not seen before on this adventure. With a green laser pointer, he directed our eyes to a green bird in the green jungle, which he had so expertly noticed in his quick glances across the heavy undergrowth.
Today, there were many kingfisher birds. They are hard to photograph, as they tend to take a short flight to a branch for a short rest before another short flight to another branch in some other direction. This species of kingfisher appears grey but when in flight, with wings spread, it shows a blue, brown and white body.
We saw a couple of red macaws flying high above our heads, and our guide explained, “they don’t have any lawyers in the macaw family as they keep their mate for life.” Seeing macaws in the wild is a special treat and soon we found 5 or 6 yellow and blue macaws in the one tree. Lyn S picked them out and takes all the credit available.
A surprise came out of the blue as the skiffs came together nudging the river bank. Breakfast was served. What a great job these guys have done just for us. Following breakfast we all had a go at catching a red bellied piranha – with a piece of flesh on the hook, they did not waste any time being caught. I don’t know if it was the same one each time, but who cares, a load of fun. One skiff had a very large specimen decide to join them in the skiff. Not a pleasant experience if he had ‘caught’ his mouth on someone.
The river is crystal clear as we sped along in the very efficient skiff with 2 x 60 hp Mercury outboard motors. There are four of these that do all the transporting of the passengers to various activities on the river.
On our return to the Aria Amazon, some folk got back on the skiff and found a spot to do some kayaking along the river. I chose to get back in the spa and enjoy the passing river traffic which is not busy, but constant.
Prior to lunch we had a few demonstrations by the staff from the different sections on the ship. The chef prepared a dish to share among the guests who enjoy Amazon River fish. The room service department showed us how to fold towels to form animals found in the jungle and the barman mixed a ‘pisco sour’ for those who enjoy a drink with 40% alcohol. (Not for me).
After lunch, we walked into a village and were entertained by the school children before we gave them gifts to help in their school work. Scenic do this on most tours that they provide. And it helps the village people and children get to know us a little better. Some of us took a long walk around the back of the village to experience the quietness of the jungle undergrowth. We found an ant-eater half way up a tree, before returning to the ship for some South American dancing and entertainment put on by the crew.
I’m not sure if I have mentioned that our Scenic Tour Director is from Brazil. It came as a surprise when she suggested that Mike G was to have a Brazilian. He didn’t know what a Brazilian was. Before and after photos are required but Mike has now stipulated that $1200 is to be raised for a Peruvian charity before the operation will commence. (He doesn’t know that we already have $700. We also have a Scenic Laundry bag to place over his head to avoid us having to see the pain on his face.)