Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Feedback Judith Densky & Justin Coopersmith

Itinerary: Amazon Ecopark Lodge, Jaguar Ecological Reserve & Araras Eco Lodge

I want to thank you for all the work you did for our trip to Brazil. The program worked pretty much as planned and Justin and I had a fabulous time.He may never duplicate those experiences anywhere again.
It was VERY hot on most days even in the dry season and the pools at Amazon Eco Lodge and Araras Lodge were a god send. But despite the heat, we just went out on the trails and on the boats, and horses, and saw the most wonderful array of animals, insects, sea otters and dolphins ( tho no pinks ones on the Negra river), and birds birds birds galore. The Amazon and Pantanel regions were better than I expected and we were lucky enough to see a
1- handsome male Jaguar at 3:45 PM on Aug 12 sitting alone on the edge of the Rio San Lorenzo near a shady bush, proudly gazing at us in our small boats watching him with fascinations. We arrived first as Tito spotted him and within 15 minutes the other guides brought their boats behind us to see this glorious animal. He seemed the real lord of the realm in his complete comfort and dominance as the king of the Pantanel. He looked at us with cool disinterest after a nap or a filling meal and shortly later he walked along the rivers edge and then disappeared into the bush.
2- giant anteater walking under the wooden foot bridge leading from the Araras Lodge to the 30 meter platform we climbed to see the sunset. As we walked the wooden walkway, Tito, our very excellent guide, heard a rustling and we were in awe as the ant eater came out to the bushes, crossed under the walkway we were on !! (he didn't hear us), and continued fanning his head out to sniff for ants and termites. It all took about 30 seconds but was a memory of a lifetime. We later saw a small ant eater on one of the truck rides. 
3- an Anaconda snake of about 3 meters (10 Ft) which was discovered in an old decrepit house an old farmer was occupying right on the TransPantanel Hwy who brought it out of the house and was going to set it loose in the river. Before he did, Justin and I watched the man hold the snake and let Justin touch it and feel it curling around his arm, before he released it. We watched him hold it as it climbed up onto a tree trunk but he pulled it down to remove it from his area. He was pretty relaxed handling it as he has probably found them before.
4-sea otters with little pups swimming on the San Lorenzo river and frolicking on the shore as they sunned and rolled over in the sand to scratch themselves
5- 3 Timor in the bush viewed during a evening flood lighted truck ride we took to spot animals along the property at the Araras Lodge.
6- A Mongoose with a hurt rear right leg who haltingly ran across the front lawn at the Amazon Eco Lodge the last morning at 6:30 AM after Justin missed the boat for the tree top sunrise walk near the monkey preserve where we saw Howler and red faced monkeys the day before.
7- Quati families in several places as well as so many Capybaras and Caiman and flocks of Egrets in all the lakes along the highway.
8- Lot's of Piranha fish that Justin caught in the first boat ride in the Amazon and later at the dock of the hotel/restaurant we stopped at for lunch at on the way to the Araras Lodge.. Justin caught about 34 fish, mostly Piranhas, until the last one bit his finger while he was throwing it back for releasing. He has a scar for life and a great memory and story to tell his friends. later he fished again on the river at the Araras Lodge the day we trucked over to their local river nd used a Brazilian fiberglass canoe which Justin and Tito paddled for 1 and 1/2 hours till our barbecue lunch was ready. We saw a tribe of marmoset monkeys in the trees above the cooking area who came down to get our leftovers, he fished again a the small pond near our loge with one of the guides and later with Tito as night fell. He couldn't stop fishing!! best catch he ever got.
We never saw a pink dolphins. But did see gray ones on the River Negra as we took the boat back along it to Manaus from Amazon Eco lodge to see the meeting of the rivers Amazon and Negra just beyond Manaus..
All in all it was one of the most memorable trips ever.
Thanks you and we hope to revisit the region again sometime
Best Regards,
Judy Densky

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