The Amazon
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How do you describe the adventure of it?  It was a wild trip!  Leaving the Amazon and making the journey back home was one of the craziest, most fun and scariest events in my life, but it was worth it.  The piranha fishing (and swimming with them),  alligator hunting, monkey watching, seeing the fresh-water dolphins, and even the bugs all contributed to one of the most memorable trips in my life. Have you seen "The Medicine Man" with Sean Connery? Lorraine Bracco was the scientist who traveled in the dugout to join him. That was our trip!  The AMAzon was AMAzing!!
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No I did not catch this with my bare hands - our guide did!  I am not kidding.  All the sudden, in the middle of this dark night trip he flips his whole body to lean over the edge of the boat and look what he came up with!  My Dad volunteered me to hold it during a brief explanation about the creature - I think my smile is more of fear then "happy joy" at holding this thing...what a tough girl I am.  No fear!!

Nice transportation, don't you think?  These little canoes are made out of one tree and are super cool!  I looked at mine and told the guide it would sink if I got in - he tried to assure me that it wouldn't.  Well it didn't sink but there WAS a hole in it that had me soaked by the end of the journey.  This particular day we went monkey spotting.

We went to the Amazon during the flooded season - it was pretty incredible.  The trees had water covering some of them completely but they just keep growing.  Our guide kept cutting through the trees and cutting down the plants with a machete.  My Dad was nervous that if the guide were to have a heart attack we would be stuck in the middle of no where having NO CLUE where to go.  They never took the same path twice.

 

Our "hotel" in the Amazon.

Being the fishing woman that I am, we went Piranha fishing.  I caught a couple and we ate them for dinner - suprisingly enough, they actually tasted pretty good.  I have this piranha's jaws here in the kitchen to always look at - my Mom loves that.

   

1 1/2 hours is a long time to ride...

As if fishing wasn't enough - I wanted a closer look at the "wildlife" (and wild fish life) in the water and so I went for a swim.  Joao assured me I would not be attacked by anything, but only after I got out did he tell me the whole truth.  Let's just be glad I am still alive today...details later...

   

It's a jungle out there! It was BEAUTIFUL!

My Dad sitting in the accommodating hotel lobby, bar, recreational area, napping quarters. There was no electricity, no hot water (not that you wanted it anyways) and lots of bugs and bats.  We had so much fun!!  Honestly!

Was this where we saw the wild boars??? (just kidding, we didn't see any of those)

 

Monkey watching

Um, I don't even want to write about this one cause it has to do with one of the most terrifying events in my life.  We had to ride for an hour and a half in a Volkswagon Van in mud filled roads to get out.  The car behind us flew off the road and into a ditch and I thought we might end up in the same place - it was frightning! (and I am tough - I mean look at me with the alligator and swimming with piranhas! :))

   

What a fun adventure!

 

Another view of the road - I am glad we made it out! By the way, this is a shot from like a ferry to get across the road, they had not finished any bridges yet so three times we crossed the river by ferry.  In total it took about 4 hours to get from the airport to the Amazon Lodge - first 1/2 an hour by car, 1/2 hour by boat, then another hour or so by van, then another hour and 1/2 by boat - so cool!