Our guide had a morning all planned out for us but it didn´t include a swim in the river. What trip to the amazon basin would be complete without taking a swim in the mighty river itself? After discussing a few different plans of action, i came up with a schedule that would allow us to do everything the guide proposed AND get in our swim.
So, on our last morning in the Amazon Basin, at around 6 a.m. we headed out on the motor boat down the Yanacau river (a tributary) to the Amazon itself. After an uneventful 30 minute ride, we arrived at our swimming spot. Michele decided to jump in first. No fear!
Here is a picture of us swimming in the Amazon!
The water was quite warm. In fact, it was curiously much warmer than the showers in our bungalow (which is fed by the river water). In addition to being quite warm, the water was also quite muddy and the visibility was probably no more than 4 inches. This causes a bit of anxiety when one feels something brush against their leg…
After our quick dip, we headed back up the Yanacau to the lodge where we took another great breakfast.
The next thing on the agenda was to go back to the Bullet Ant nest. When we went before the battery in my camera was dead so i wasn´t able to take any video or pictures and Michele wasn´t able to get any good shots with hers. I remembered that my brother had a special interest in these ants and i couldn´t leave this place without getting a short video clip of the monsters. We´re not going to include any pictures here because, really, unless there´s something else in the video or photo to put the size into perspective, the ants don´t really look so special.
After our short hike to the ant nest and back, we got back in the boat and headed back down the Yanacau toward the lodge. Along the way we stopped at the small (100 people)jungle village of San Juan for our obligatory cultural tour.
Moises was good at explaining the people´s way of life and answering our questions about the same. We saw the village jail (the size of a small chicken coop), the mayor´s house and watched a few of the town´s inhabitants working on their dug-out canoes.
Here is a photo of a couple of houses on the edge of the town´s soccer field…
There are two schools in the village. One is a kindergarten and the other is the elementary school. There is no high school. If a child wants to go to high school (or their parents want them to), they have to do it in Iquitos (where they also must live during this education). Unfortunatly, this generally requires more money than most of the families have so not many of the children are educated beyond 6th grade.
Here is a picture of one of the rooms of the 2-room elementary school house.
After walking the length of the village we got back on the motor boat and rode the 5 minutes back to the lodge for our final lunch in the Amazon Basin.
Almost immediately after lunch Michele and i, Steve, and a couple from England were on the speedboat back to Iquitos. The ride back is about an hour shorter because it is with the current of the river. We arrived back to Iquitos around 3 p.m. and checked back into the Ambassador Hostal. Later that afternoon we returned the rubber, jungle boots we rented from Mick´s (above the Muyuna lodge office) and prepared ourselves for the next day´s flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador.
And that completes our Amazon Basin series…