Brazil:  Amazon and Salvador da Bahia, July 2009
The Amazon at Dusk, Caimans, Jungle Plantations
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In the Amazon, it gets dark around 6pm.  And since it's near the equator, the sun only sets 15 or 30 minutes later during the December-January summer months. Despite the early hour, it was growing dark and we wanted to get moving. After hydrating ourselves at the store, we were on our way, thankfully out of the heat of the sun.

We had gone on a jungle walk in the morning and seen the rare and elusive pink dolphin, and now it was almost time for dinner.

Floating through the waters of the Amazon, Lisa and I never tired of the boat trips.


This is one of three photos that were selected for the Top 100 travel photos in the 2009 Photo Issue of the Los Angeles Times!


The sun sets behind the Rio Mamori.

Mo pilots the motorboat back to the Dolphin Lodge, where we ate delicious fried fish. 

But after dinner, it was not time to retire.  We were going back out on a moonlit boat excursions to see caimans, a carnivorous crocodile-like animal that lived in the grassy still waters by the river's edge. 

We took off under moonlight. Mo stood at the front of the boat, shining his flashlight into the grassy still waters near the banks of the river to look for the white reflections from the caiman's eyes. 

Upon seeing one, Mo would signal by waving his flashlight up and down several times, and the second guy operating the motor would charge into the grass while Mo prostrated himself at the nose of the boat, quickly lunging his right hand into the water and emerging with a small 35-40km (18 inch) baby caiman.

Once caught, the baby caiman offered no resistance, staying still to play dead.  Mo demonstrated how the caiman automatically closes its eyes when submerged. 

I thought that the baby caiman looked somewhat similar to a Gorn.

Lisa held the baby caiman.

I could feel its pulse as I held it, the baby caiman still staying very still.

As soon as Mo set it free in the water, the caiman immediately tore off into the inky black waters.

We had quite a Fourth of July:  we had walked through the jungle, seen a pink dolphin, and held a caiman.

All the moonlight caiman photos were taken by the Leica D-Lux 4.

5 July Sunday - After breakfast with fruit and tapioca rolls made of manioc, we visited a nearby family who have a 100-hectare plantation (a hectare is 10000 square meters, or107639 sq ft). 

They were of course friends of Mo's, and grew some coffee, bell peppers, passion fruit as well as, of course, manioc. 

Mo's son, off from school, accompanied us, pausing to catch crabs by the river's edge.

I really don't remember what this was, but it had a nice sweet taste.

The plantation.

Lisa and Mo checked out the passion fruit and bell peppers at the plantation.

Brazil:  Amazon and Salvador da Bahia, July 2009
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EXTRA:  Lisa's Photos and Videos of the Amazon

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