16 Photos

Swimming with pink dolphins and climbing trees
Amazon Adventure

Morning on the Rio NegroMorning on the Rio Negro (Maria Campbell)
Today was an excursion I'd really been looking forward to -- our Amazon tree climbing day. Luckily, I'd way overpacked so Robyn was able to borrow all the clothes and shoes she needed for the day from me. Our two guides, Eddy and Fabiano, picked us up along with Melanie, a German med student who was traveling through South America on her way to a clinical rotation in Buenos Aires, and took us by speedboat to our first agenda item of the day: swimming with pink dolphins. A local family had set up a platform about 1 meter below the surface of the river that you stand on. They then pulled out small fish and smacked them on the surface of the water to 'call' the dolphins. Sure enough, within a couple minutes, several pink (and one grey) dolphins swam up wanting to be fed. They let us pet the dolphins and at one point gave us each a foam noodle to use as a flotation device to swim amongst the dolphins, but it kind of freaked me out to have them brushing up against my legs so I went back to the platform.

We then continued on into the jungle to climb a tree. I had thought we'd actually climb up the branches, but I was wrong. They strung a rope from the top branch of the tree, hooked us into harnesses, and then we used hand pulleys and our feet to pull & push ourselves up to the top 6 inches at a time. So much fun! We could even hang upside down from the rope. The view from the top of the canopy was pretty cool. When we got back to the hotel, Robyn's suitcase had arrived (via Sao Paolo). Good thing -- we were leaving on our cruise the next day and there would have been no way for them to deliver it to her there.

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