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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Dramatic Rescue on the Amazon River

his morning it was time to say goodbye to the Amazon Lodge.  We made friends, saw what wildlife there was to see, and relaxed listening to the jungle symphony of sounds.  The group gathered for one last picture on the lawn before we headed up river back to civilization.

Along the way, Juan Carlos started yelling at us to take out our cameras.  A very rare bird had appeared on the shoreline –a Jabiru Red Throated Stork.  Apparently bird watchers would be jealous.

Photo courtesy Mike Sanderson

We also saw more pink dolphins and were able to get a bit more footage of them.  John Coffey and I combined video and this is all we got.  Yeah, its crappy.  But hey, these suckers are rare!

Mike managed one good shot that shows why they are called "pink" dolphins.

Photo courtesy Mike Sanderson

At one point a landing craft (the “Derwan Stiven”) with three new pickup trucks on the deck passed us by.  We were all rolling our eyes because the captain of the boat was a bit of a jerk – passing us so close that we were worried about whether our small boat would swamp in his big wake.  Suddenly Juan Carlos was hollering to Alex the driver to divert course.  We all looked up to realize that one of the new trucks had rolled off the barge and was in the water.  Apparently there was a big log in the water that the barge captain had tried to avoid and turned so sharply that the boat rolled and the front most truck slid off the barge.  One of the barge workers was in the back of the truck and was trying to climb out of the sinking vehicle.  We diverted course to try to rescue him.  However, in a strange moment of happenstance, the Peruvian Coast Guard happened to be on patrol and reached the truck before we could.  This video shows the rescue of the guy from the truck.  If you look carefully, it appears that they hauled him over the side of the Coast Guard boat and then he collapsed.  The Coast Guard boat then hauled out for town – presumably to take the injured seaman to the hospital.  We hope there was not anyone else in the truck with him as anyone drowned in the Amazon River will never be found.

When we got back to the Iquitos airport, our bags had to be hand inspected.  Holly opened hers only to have a small cockroach hop out.  Melissa stomped on it before anyone noticed.  Yeah, perfect.  Lord knows what bugs we are going to take with us to Galapagos.  Maybe we should fumigate the bags first?  Then again, any bugs in with the dirty laundry are sure to die due to excess stench anyway around it.  First stop when we get to the Galapagos is a laundry! [Note that on the flight to the Galapagos they actually did fumigate the airplane.  Though not clear how much good that would actually do in the luggage compartment where half the bags were wrapped in plastic.]

On the flight from Iquitos back to Lima, we were again upgraded to first class.  That confirms our suspicion that the reason we were upgraded previously was because of Mike’s status with United which is part of the Avianca network.  When we reached Lima, the hotel was supposed to pick us up.  Sure enough there was a guy holding a sign with our name on it, but the van was late.  That plus our flight being late means we will only get a few hours sleep tonight before we start for the Galapagos tomorrow.

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