Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cruising the Amazon River


Howlers, screamers and the perfect pisco sour


Guest blogger Louise Southerden [www.noimpactgirl.com] travels to the Peruvian Amazon with Lindblad Expeditions.

“Anybody been to the Galapagos?” asks expedition leader Carlos Romero at the first night’s briefing aboard the Delfin II, a 14-cabin luxury river vessel and our floating hotel for the next eight days. A few hands go up. “Forget it. Forget about [blue-footed] boobies in the middle of the walking tracks. This is the Amazon. Here, you have to work to see the animals.”

Delphin II, Lindblad. (Picture by Richard Maack

Rainforest walk (picture by Louise Southerden).
He’s right, but it’s our Peruvian naturalists who do the hard yards. They make it look easy. Every dawn and dusk, we board purpose-built skiffs to explore narrow creeks off the main rivers, puttering quietly so as not to disturb birds with names as colourful as their feathers – horned screamers, speckled chacalacas, white-headed marsh tyrants – and monkeys (platoons of squirrel monkeys, solitary howlers). Some days we go ashore to hike in the rainforest and visit villages that have no road access; we also get to kayak and swim with pink river dolphins in piranha-free lakes.

Howler Monkey (picture by Louise Southerden).
And after every outing, the Delfin II welcomes us back with hot showers, fine dining and on-board activities such as talks and cooking demonstrations, including one on how to make the perfect pisco sour, Peru’s national drink. (The secret? Shake it while dancing to some Afro-Peruvian tunes.) The best part is knowing that when we wake up the next morning, we get to put on gumboots and insect repellent and head out again to explore another corner of the world’s last great green wilderness.

How to do it: Lindblad Expeditions runs 10-day 'Upper Amazon Aboard the Delfin II' trips all year round, for a maximum of 28 guests at a time, departing from Lima. See http://au.expeditions.com/

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