This is what my co-worker told me today. I said, ‘YOUR vacations are relaxing…mine are EXCITING!’ He can’t fathom that this IS my relaxation and what I work for just to get two measly weeks out of the year. I get it, I realize what I do is not for everyone and I’m happy about that! Less people around! So what exactly IS the reason for this trip?
One is that I’ve never been this far south before and I’m curious about different kinds of animals I have never seen. The Giant Anteater comes to mind. They look so majestic as they glide through the Savannah, but so odd too. You’ve never seen anything like it! Giant River Otters…one of the most endangered mammal species in the neotropics. Diane McTurk has worked with them for years and I’ll be staying with her. Anaconda resting their big snakie bodies on logs hanging over riverbanks would be very exciting! Harpy Eagles would be an amazing sight to see. They have a 5-6 1/2 foot wingspan and can easily carry away a monkey or sloth. The heaviest weighs about 20 pounds. The Victoria Amazonica Lily will be an amazing sight to see. You may have seen pictures of babies asleep on the giant 9′ diameter lily pads before. At dusk, the flower opens up, smelling wonderful and beetles crawl inside of it to feast. When the sun rises and the beetle is still disoriented from the wonderful smell and all of the food inside, the flower closes up on it. The beetle stays trapped during the day and must wait until nightfall to emerge. When dusk comes, the flower opens up again, the beetle crawls out but the flower has turned from white to pink! It actually changed sex overnight! The beetle had pollinated the flower and turned it! Now it has male pollen all over it so it goes looking for the next white female flower. Whatta life….
As far as finding plants go, I’m very interested in medicinal plants. And what always makes you stop and go ‘hmmmmm’ is when you find that one tree or plant in the jungle can rely on another tree or plant sitting just yards away from it. I’ve heard of trees with thorns and if you got stuck by one, a bush should be nearby that has the antidote to help stop the bleeding. Nature is so amazing. I am going to try and capture as much data on this each time I go out with a guide in hopes of turning it into an ebook. Everything you need to cure you lies in the forests and jungles.
I want to meet the locals and interact with the kids and lend a hand where I can. I will be relying on them to show me around the jungles, point out animals and tell great stories of their experiences. I hope to gain a lot of information that will help me survive in the jungle if need be.
I’d love to see a jaguar in the wild and it is possible here, but you never know. The pink toed tarantulas are piquing my interest and I love bats to death. I’m looking forward to the fish and will try to catch a piranha or two. I hear they don’t have much meat on ’em. Of course I’m looking forward to the usual suspects…monkeys, birds, snakes, lizards and caiman.
Sound relaxing!?!? Ok, so he may have a point…