Friday, January 18, 2008

Made it to Manaus!

We're back to an internet connection, albeit weak. After an excruciatingly early start this morning (4:15 wake-up), we flew into the city of Manuas early this afternoon. Manaus is about 1.5 million people strong on the bank of the Rio Negro, a very large river that joins with the Amazon River twelve miles downstream.
We had some incredible experiences during our time in the Pantanal - lots of interesting animals and plants that thrive in the partially-flooded rainy-season landscape - we've seen caimans (like docile crocodiles), capybaras (the biggest, cutest rodents on earth), hyacinth maccaws (unbelievably blue birds), and piranha's (we even fished some out of the river and tasted a mighty fine piranha stew made with the catchings. No jaguar or giant anteater sightings, sadly.
In the field sketching, we focussed on capturing differing tones in a drawing in the diferent lights at various times of day. We also took a night safari, where we saw a cuckoo, several caiman eyes, some night flying birds, and at the end we took turns holding a young caiman that was in a marsh right by the driveway.

Now we're getting ready for tomorrow's visit to the research station of the INPA, and then Monday we board a boat for an excursion down the Amazon.

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