Nancy’s Amazon River Rainforest Experience

Nancy Willson Gokey,  her life having been one of paradox’s, her professionalism rising to the status of  bank manager for World Saving, a division of golden west financial,  the country’s second-largest savings and loan association, and later for Wachovia.   Throughout her life,  her first priority,  the raising of her two children, and introducing them to the wonders of mother nature’s great outdoors.  Nancy at age 64, was yet about to implement a long awaited desire,   a journey to the secluded realm of the Amazon Rainforest.

    

 

With a internet inquiry, the adventurist pinning a travel included, week long Amazon River tour,  complete with a one hundred ten mile river excursion and a exhaustive rainforest experience.  Her sponsored host, Yacumama Lodge and the YTB Travel Network.    The agency E-mailing  a list of her 12 accompanying tour members and surprisingly eight were local,  from Columbia, Sonora and Murphy’s,  with the remaining members joining them at Miami for their flight to Peru

     

Nancy’s California group departing at 12:30 pm from SFO,  Friday January 18th,  boarding a american airlines Boeing 767 for the five hour fifteen minute non-stop journey to Miami.   Arriving at Miami International Airport,  a 3 hour and 10 minute layover before boarding their American Airlines to Lima Peru. The airbus 320 travelers attempting to get some sleep on another non-stop  five hours flight,  arriving at Lima Peru’s,  Jorge Chavez airport at 5:45 in the morning.  The itinerary calling for a 10 hour layover in Lima before their hour and 45 minute flight to Iquitos.  Not surprising,  some members deciding on a taxi tour of the city before their afternoon departure.

 

Iquitos, the ninth largest city in Peru, and the largest city in the world that cannot be reached by road,  accessible only by river and air.  The group greeted by a Yucamama Lodge tour guide having made transportation arrangements to the residential Yucamama, referred to as the backpackers hostal..  Nancy and others with camera in hand, venturing to the city square, the Plaza de Armas, and its land marks the Saint John the Baptist Cathedral, a roman catholic cathedral built on the sight of an ancient Peruvian temple demolished in 1919.

 

Other sights included La Casa Morey,  the mansion of a rubber industry baron, now a hotel and restaurant.  The Casa de Fierro, the Iron House, plates of steel donning the walls and ceilings, said to have been bought at the 1889 Paris International Exposition and reassembled.  The Plaza de Armas was not without eminence, a monument in remembrance of the death warriors at the Guerra del Pacifico.  What stood out about the town was the obvious, it was long inhabited by indigenous people, representative of the rubber plantation era, from appearances it’s populace still somewhat residing in the third world atmosphere of the past.

 

After breakfast the tour group boarding a river cruise craft for their 110 mile venture up  the tributary fed Amazon.  The scenic river journey providing  a picture of mother nature’s unblemished work,  the Amazon Jungle.   Their journey culminating on the Rio Yarapa contributory.   Their Yacumama Lodge amazon host welcoming the new arrivals, ascribing their lodging bungalows and a late lunch, enjoying an introductory rainforest excursion.  After dinner, one was able to converse in the spacious main lodge or retire to their private bungalow for a well deserved night of sleep in concert with. The Night Sounds of the Jungle

 

A breaking dawn finding the group once again boarding a river conveyance, enjoying the sunrise and the opportunity to view bird life and the primates among the terrestrial foliage and trees..    a bilingual Yagua Indian guide conducting a tour of the medicine trail,  able to discern the native botanical herbs and point out a wide variety of wildlife and insect..   Fulfilling the day was an afternoon river trip to view the rare Amazon pink dolphins.  The fresh water Dolphins being mammals,  like whales, they share the defining traits:  they breathe air, are warm-blooded, give live birth, suckle their young on milk.

 

Another amazon river morning venture, Nancy and the group gazing at the 115 foot  forestation thatched rainforest canopy viewing tower.  The climb up the nine tower levels somewhat of a challenge, but once attaining its view overseeing the rainforest, discovering it well worth the effort  even in the constant humidity  That is The Jungle.  The afternoon found a choice of activity time, including boating canoeing, fishing, hiking or just relaxing in the hammock room over the river.  The sunset hour found a night river excursion to view the amazon nocturnal life, including the black Caiman,  a night feeding a 16 to 20 foot alligator.

     

The morning breakfast concluded,  again seated in the boating craft,  an agenda to explore the famous giant water lilies of the Amazon.   The lilly leaves floating on the surface, being large, 10 feet  in diameter, their submerged stalk,  23 to 26 feet in length residing below the surface.  The amazon lilly being large enough to support a small child..   Moving on, a traveling lunch provided as one experienced the scenic wonders of the river and once putting ashore, the abundance of  birds, including the pre-historic Hoatzin, the Hoatzin,  a feathered theropod dinosaur,  it being noted that birds and crocodiles constituted today’s only living dinosaurs.  The tour continued on to explore  the remote inbound areas of the river before returning for dinner.

  

The jungle river tour would not be complete without a visit to an authentic Indian Village,  where one could trade for the hand-made crafts and experience their life on the river. The tour group acquainting the river side exposition, being introduced to native family members and their understanding way of life.   this their final touring day, returning to a variety of free time activities,  instructions in the use of authentic dug-out canoes,  piranha fishing lesson’s, and many just relaxing, pausing to take stock of where they were,  and all they had experienced.  After dinner, a final hosted jungle night walk,  to once again absorb and experience the nocturnal environment and sounds of the amazon jungle.

    

Nancy and her group bidding a farewell to the jungle, a life aspiration fulfilled,   the river and the 110 mile return journey to Iquitos having begun,  the 5:35 pm  flight to Lima awaits, and a return to the reality of the twenty first century.

     

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