Am up to date on my work trips and can finally give you a glimpse of one of my favourite trips since I've been in Peru, a cruise on the Amazon river and tributaries thereof. Little did I know that I was trending when I booked this little adventure as 2011 has been declared the Year of Forests by the United Nations, to raise awareness of sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all kinds of forest http://www.un.org/en/events/iyof2011/
Having decided on a low consumption, green Christmas, I opt for a small cruise (the ship only has 6 air conditioned cabins) departing from Iquitos in the tropical north of Peru. On December 22nd we set sail from the town of Nauta (about 90 kms from Iquitos by bus) on a 7day/6 night cruise on the Clavero ~ a 1876 restored riverboat ~ towards the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, famed for its reflective beauty and known as the "Espejo de la Selva" or Jungle of Mirrors.
And for good reason. The Amazon valley offers unforgettable moments. Ever winding curves in tributaries of the mighty rubber river and its dark history; beautiful still, reflective waters in which pink-bellied dolphins suddenly break to the surface, cavorting around the boat ~ often in pairs ~ and spouting a glistening cascade of spray; brown and black necked hawks, kingfishers and flycatchers in a rainbow of colours perched totally still on a wood stump in the river; sloths, red monkeys and huge wasp nests clamped high up in trees; butterflies fluttering by; walks in the jungle embracing huge rubber trees and looking for giant waterlilies; side trips in a tinny to look at giant waterlilies, fish for deadly dangerous paranah and caimans (at night); catching zen moments sitting on deck reading as the Clavero cruises along this peaceful setting and, to top it all off, stunning sunsets.
The rest is best said in visuals, so a few photos via the cruise mob's blog, http://greentracks-news.