5/25/10: Iquitos, Peru
For my own amusement, I’m going to play a quick word association game with myself and subject you to it.
Serengeti… the place with all the animals in Africa, not to be confused with spaghetti
Himalayas… the mountain range in Asia that contains Everest
Great Wall of China… the big, long wall on the northern end of China
Amazon… the popular online shopping site with free shipping over $25!
Aw nuts. I was doing really well until that last one. The worst part is, I’m here in the real Amazon and I still screwed it up.
Kids, the point I’m trying to make here is that there is more to life than online shopping, even when shipping is free. (Sigh… I miss free shipping. And cheap CDs. And recommendations tailored for me based on my browsing history…) In fact, did you know that amazon.com got its name from the world’s largest river here in South America? It wasn’t the other way around. And for the first time in my life, I can now tell you with confidence that the Amazon river (AR) is much cooler than the Amazon online shopping site (AOS). Case in point (or is it case and point? I can never remember.):
Today’s itinerary included four excursions. I’ll explain quickly the differences between each excursion here vs. shopping online, then post a few pictures. Be forewarned though – the only drawback to the AR is that the surrounding rainforest prevents good lighting, therefore it’s not ideal for pictures. (AOS though is great for pictures: you can get killer deals on digital frames for the upcoming Father’s Day!)
Our first excursion: bird watching. I don’t even like bird watching, but here n the AR the birds are so colorful, unique and in abundance that even boring activities such as this are quite fun. For example, every time the Oro Pendula wants to make its distinct call, it drops its head below its feet, spreads its wings and emits a loud sound similar to that of a coin plunking into a pool. You just don’t get that in AOS. There you can buy books about bird watching, or books about Larry Bird, and even then you have to wait 7-10 business days for the free shipping.
Our second excursion: swimming with dolphins. If your expectation was to ride with one foot on the back of each of two happy dolphins, go buy a movie on AOS and watch someone else do it. If however, you want to take a boat into the middle of a murky but warm lake with large pink dolphins and smaller gray ones swimming all around you and then jump in and scare them away, come to the AR! We had a blast watching the river dolphins, especially the pink ones, then jumping in the lake ourselves and watching them all swim away.
Our third excursion: fishing for piranhas. In the AR, you simply cut your least favorite finger and dip it in the water to catch piranhas… just kidding. We put raw meat on the end of a line, splashed the water to attract the fish, waited for a nibble then yanked up as hard as possible to try to jerk the hook through the fish. Apparently there’s no better way to catch them, and sure enough on my first yank I had a piranha. By the end of the hour, we caught nine between the three of us. By the end of an hour on AOS you might have nine of something, but you probably spent a couple hundred dollars.
Our fourth excursion: spotting tarantulas. Whenever I think of tarantulas I think of the Tarantella dance that Hook does in Peter Pan – a movie I would have bought on AOS if only it were around back then. Here though, a tarantula is a vicious, hairy, man-eating spider who won’t take no crap off of nobody! (Sorry, a lack of quoting Cool Runnings in real life forces me to do it on the blog.) The only thing that seems a bit incongruous with the tough, spidery look: the pink toes.
Picture of the Day: Amy finally gets to witness one of our world trip sunsets… this one was just ok.