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Cruising on the Rio Negro

Looking for wildlife on the Rio Negro
Looking for wildlife on the Rio Negro
Our daily routing was such: early morning canoe ride at 6am, followed by breakfast at 8:30am, followed by a forest walk at 10am, lounging on the boat in the afternoon (usually up on the top deck, sometimes sleeping in a hammock up there), followed by a village visit or canoe ride at 4pm. About half the nights we also had canoe rides at night, looking for wildlife in the dark. Those were my favorites. The guides, Edgy & Sosa, would shine big spotlights on the shore and we'd look for red eyes looking back at us. We spotted a bunch of caiman (an alligator-type creature), some frogs, a boa constrictor (in a tree, so camouflaged he was hard to spot). One night, we came across a mother caiman and 20 babies. So cool! On our first night canoe ride, we'd only been out about ten minutes when a fish jumped right into our boat. Later, our guide started pounding on the canoe, making the fish start jumping all around us, and another fish jumped into the boat right at Robyn's feet.

By the second day, I'd given up all attempts at looking good. It was just too hot. Makeup? Forget it -- it would just melt off your face within a half hour (or be wiped off on your sleeve as you tried to wipe the sweat off your face). Forget about styling your hair -- just pull it off your face and neck with barrettes and rubber bands. When I got dressed, I just grabbed the first thing I came to in my bag, whether it was clean or dirty. I've never looked worse!

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