Wednesday, 25 May 2011

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Cruising by the meeting of the waters in Santarem

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Day 17 (Monday, April 13) Santarém, 9:00AM to 7:00PM

Today we had a river boat and Lake Maica tour with a famous local guide, Gil Serique ( This was another outstanding tour. After driving from the cruise pier to Richard Hemmington’s pier downtown, we boarded a riverboat and motored off to enjoy yet another meeting of the waters. From there we proceeded to explore Maica Lake, viewing considerable wildlife (gray and pink dolphins, tree sloths, and many types of rare birds) along the way. It was fun to continue on when the boats for the Princess ship tours turned around to return to the ship! We still had a lot of touring to do!

Gil is a real character; he is extremely enthusiastic about birds and his excitement is contagious, even to those of us who are not serious birders. He provided a substantial snack of local foods that was plenty to us for lunch. At the time of year we visited, the water was quite high, which allowed us to explore the flood plain (which represents only about 5% of the Amazon Basin) by canoeing. While half of our group canoed with Gil for about an hour, the rest fished for piranha (which Gil later cooked for us). During our canoe ride, we saw big bats and both the Greater and Lesser Potoo. Gil gave each of us an autographed copy of his book on birds of the Amazon Basin, as well as t-shirts and tote bags for the ladies and kerchiefs for the men (all of which feature a Hoatzin). Gil asks that you bring him a t-shirt/Frisbee from your town.
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Gil Serique (supreme guide)

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