Month: May 2016

Chasing Manatees

Feeding manatees 2Tracking manatees--photo taken by Amazonia Expeditions staff biologist Andy Bicerra, owned by Amazonia Expeditions,

Feeding. . .                                                                                    and hunting manatees

The hunting photo was taken by Amazonia Expeditions staff biologist Andy Bicerra, and is owned by Amazonia Expeditions

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The river manatee must be among the cutest large animals around, but it’s not very well known.

Don’t confuse the river manatee, a mammal that swims in the rivers of the Amazon basin, with the similar ocean mammal off the coast of the Americas. I learned about the river manatee by visiting the Centro de Rescate Amazonico (CREA) outside the jungle city of Iquitos, Peru. It’s an endangered species, important to the Amazon eco-system. Thanks in large part to the largess of the Dallas World Aquarium (DWA), CREA has an extensive program to rehabilitate manatees and return them to the wild. DWA does not keep any river manatees in its exhibit.

Manatee Smile

Smile!

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A great WSJ story about Cuba’s cigar industry; good photos

http://on.wsj.com/1OE9Vm6

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Dispelling Amazon Jungle Myths

Me and anacondadawn

A visit to the Amazon jungle in comfort? Impossible you say, but it is possible at a good wilderness lodge like the one I recently visited in Peru.

As do many of us, I based my preconceptions about the jungle on what I saw on TV and the movies. It was going to be unbelievably hot and humid. Constant torrential rain. The insects would be hard to control. I’d need boots to get about. Danger lies around every corner. Everyone I told before I left warned me, “Get your shots.” My doctors loaded me up with just-in-case medicines. All of this — nonsense. Four days in the jungle: There was only one rainy day, and I didn’t get sick. But being prepared for the unpredictable will help comfort you.

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Not the Mail-Order Amazon

             Supply boat arrivesSupply boat arrives at lodge

 It’s warm … no hot, it rains torrentially, you can’t drink the water, and electricity is limited. I’m in the middle of the Amazon jungle. When a group of friends from Dallas decided to visit the Tahuayo Lodge in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon, I decided to join them.

The Lodge is ranked as one of the 10 best wilderness lodges in the world by the folks who rank such things, Outside Magazine. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up. I didn’t even know the Amazon extended into Peru. Nor did I fully appreciate how remote this lodge was going to be.

Only power is from solar   Cabins are on stilts over water; solar panels provide some electricity

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Panama Is a Huge Success Story

This article is dead on…Panama isn’t the Panama Papers. Contact me if you have questions about Panama, as that is my expertise.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveforbes/2016/05/10/the-real-story-about-panama/#15c6f5b6757a

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A Motokar Ride to Remember

The principal way of getting around in Iquitos, Peru, is by motokar, a motorcycle with a 2 person back seat and small trunk space added. It is close to a Thai tuk tuk. Most seem to be made by Honda and cost about $1500. Is Uber motokar far behind? Ignore the chatter; go for the ride.

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