Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Parrot clay licks

On the second day wake up call was scheduled at 5:00 am. We had to get to parrot clay lick #1 at 7:30 to catch parrots there. And to get there we again had to paddle trickle up to Napo river. Then take a motorboat for few minutes over Napo itself. Finally we arrived to the clay lick and saw only boa snake on the tree. No birds. Naturalists asked us to be quiet and wait - parrots should come in few minutes. Unfortunately something had scared birds and they decided not to come this day to the clay lick. So our guide ordered to get us to clay lick #2 - activity there was supposed to be at 10:30. We reached our destination about 10:10 and immediately noticed hawk on the tree. It meant that we have another problem and birds might not come. But to our surprise hawk flew away and birds started to get closer to the lick. When it was almost 10:30 and birds was just at the destination something scared them and millions of them escaped in a fraction of second. It wasn't our lucky day, but we were patient. All the strongest from the group decided to stay at the place and wait for some activity. It was worth waiting. First of all we had some time to take a nap or read a book. Second, after two hours, macaws - the most beautiful parrots - arrived. First slowly, but finally one of them landed on the lick. We were observing them for about an hour, but they also were not brave enough to get down to the lick. Our naturalist told that these macaws can be observed here very rarely - only in December and January. So eventually we had some luck! And saw nice, big, colorful birds.
Before getting back to the lodge, we had to eat lunch in the Anangu welcome center (the place located at the tributary of the trickle to the Napo river) and visit handcraft store. The most interesting thing in the store turned out to be another boa braided into roof structure. Miguel explained us that few days ago he saw here some bats and where are bats, are boas, so he had expected it.
On the way back Miguel joked that it's good sun for anacondas. They like to sunbathe. And it was really very sunny day. But it was jungle. After 1.5 hours of paddling everything changed in a second and it slowly started to rain. Where we were in the middle of the Anangu lake, wind started to blow really strong. Waves were bigger and bigger, everything started to get wet and first of all I protected my backpack with provided poncho. It was more and more water inside our canoe, but Mariano and Alex paddled quickly to get to the pier as fast as possible. It was the most scary moment in my life. I was always sure that my backpack will sink in the black waters of the lake forever... Fortunately everything had happy end. We reached the pier and I got to the cabin completely wet - however my backpack was almost dry - it's more important than me myself as you can imagine. After such day, full of adventures and wild animals I was tired and fell on the bed... but still please enjoy some pictures.

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