Thursday, 31 January 2013

Paul spots a Boa

Day two of our Amazon adventure started very early...which thanks to the bats was easy to 5:30 we were up and eating breakfast...ready to leave by 6:00.  We piled into a boat with our group (10 in total) and we were off up river to a landing spot with stairs leading straight up.  (these types of stairs are everywhere allowing access up the very muddy bank which gets better or worse depending on rain fall).  We were  no sooner at the top of the bank but we were in the jungle itself.
We walked through the jungle on a cleared path and along the way we saw many interesting plants, trees and more insects...including a huge snail, half the size of my foot. 
 We were amazed to see leaf cutter ants carrying pieces of leaves they had cut from a close-by tree marching past on their way to a nest somewhere on the forest floor.
Honestly though, there was not much difference between this walk and many we have taken in the Gatineau Hills, barring the incredible heat, even early in the morning...that is until Paul called our attention to a snake he had spotted in the bush...the guide was ecstatic...telling us that this was the rarely seen rainbow boa constrictor.  (many of you will know that I did not really want to go to the Amazon for fear that I would come across a there you have it...sometimes what you think will happen just does)...this snake was a good 4-5 feet long and we spent a long time looking at it and the  guide tried to get it into view for a better look...sigh....
We continued our walk to an ox bow lake where we were lucky to see some birds (known locally as "stink birds" as they ferment their food in one of two stomachs..thus giving them a particular odour) and some bats which were living under a log...the only variety that is out during the day. 
We disembarked on the opposite side of the lake and continued our trek to look at two huge a  strangling fig and the other a kapoc...both hundreds of years old...then we turned back and retraced our steps.
In all we were gone for about 5 hours and when we returned the sun was at full strength...I felt like I was melting..and literally my clothing was soaked through...we had a quick lunch and then plunged into the swimming hole...
We were exhausted...the sleepless night, the long hike, the heat...sent us to our beds where we had a nice long nap in preparation for the night activity...hunting for Caymans (alligators who live in fresh water) back to the boats we went.  We spent about an hour with a flash light scanning the coast for these creatures and found several...including small babies.  The stars were out and it was truly beautiful!!!
Thus ended our second day in the jungle...during wet season...with not a single drop of was off to supper and then back to the bungalow where the bats were awaiting. 

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