Just got back from a amazing, unforgettable trip with Gil and Celso Serique.
Gil is an international famous guide, who brings you to unbelievable places. We booked the 3 day tour.
Gil was waiting for us at Santarem airport to take us to his house facing a wonderful island beach. Carparinha time!
Next morning we left his place for a boat trip to Maica river ( we had time to visit the fish market, see the meeting of the waters and cruise along the city. Pink dolphins, the prehistorical hoatzin and a lot of other beautiful birds which he all knows by name and their typical behavior. We also used his little wildlife book to identify most of them. Sloths are to be seen there most of the time, but now they were too lazy to show themselves, I guess. Later that day to Tapajos National Forest, Primary rainforest! After a short hike we reached the spot to set up our camp.
Hammocks were attached to the wood giants and I started the campfire for Celso to prepare dinner. For us time to look at some howler monkeys passing by. Roasted chicken never tasted *this* good. Same for the carpirinha's.
Bedtime, or better, hammock time. Which is so much different than a bed. I hate and love them. Difficult to get your right sleeping position, but waking up in the morning, so comfy that you don't want to get out. But then, what is wrong about lying awake for a while, listening to the sounds of the jungle and gazing at the stars and the moonlight through the gaps your canopy ceiling? In case you might be worried about animals approaching the camp, there is no need to: they keep the fire going through the night.
After waking with a stiff cup of cowboy coffee we were ready for a hike.
Only Gil knows about this special spot where to see the king vultures. Beautiful birds and the whooping sound of their wings when they take off is spectacular.
During the tracking Gil just cannot stop telling interesting stories about the history of the area which once belonged to his family and is strongly related to the coming of the rubber plantations. No, he can stop talking about that, but only to point out another interesting animal, tree, plant or insect.
The track we walk in the afternoon gets us to a viewing point from where you can look down upon the canopy of the 50 meters high trees. The diversity is amazing. Some with bright colorful flowers, something you will never see from the floor.
Next day we walk to a little creek. Having lunch and just hanging out, taking pictures of butterflies and other insects that present themselves to us.
On our way back to Alter de Chao we drove through Belterra, the second city founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon. When we arrived back to his place we were welcomed by a small band of Silvery marmosets feeding on cashew tree sap.
It wasn't cheap, but we found it to be worth every penny, twice over.
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