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Cruising on the Rio Negro

Rio Negro
Rio Negro
One of the first nights our guide Sosa gave us a lecture on Brazilian fruits. I thought it was going to be really boring, but it was actually really interesting. Did you know Brazil nuts grow a bunch in a hard shell that looks like a coconut? And cashews grow one nut on a fruit that looks kind of like an apple? I was fascinated with the cashew trees after that.

We saw lots of birds on the trip, many of which I'd never heard of. My favorites were the hoatzins, birds that can't fly very far and travel in packs, flapping around in trees making lots of noise. Also saw parrots, parakeets, kingfishers, lots of different herons, woodpeckers, toucans, green ibis, anhingas, hawks, and vultures, just to name a few. Besides caiman and dolphins, we also saw iguanas, sloth, frogs, lizards, and 3 different kinds of monkeys. No anacondas, though! Our guides also showed us all kinds of trees & plants with medicinal purposes. On our first forest walk, we came across a big spider web stretched out across two bushes with a big spider sitting on it. We admired it, then walked on. I couldn't believe it when a big Swede named Anders walked right through the web, destroying it! I didn't like Anders after that, although a few days later, we were talking to him and asked him what he does for a living. He's a nurse in a hospice center, and after he talked about how rewarding it is to help people at the end of their life and bring them comfort, I liked him better. Maybe he just didn't see the spider web.
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