Three hours from Iquitos we turn off the Amazon at the village of Yanashi, an inhabited strip of riverfront stitched along the hem of the rainforest, a couple hundred yards wide and a few miles long.  It’s a deceptively populated place, with electricity, roads, a school, a clinic, and over 1,000 people.       Just after the village we enter a narrow channel that cuts through the jungle till we emerge onto the Rio Oroso, one of a zillion tributaries of the Amazon. Within half an hour a floating cabin comes into view at the mouth of a creek.  The boat swings about and slips onto the muddy bank below a flight of steps leading up to a neatly mowed clearing.  At last we’ve arrived.  Home for the next week will be here at Madre Selva, one of several field research stations operated by Project Amazonas, a nonprofit humanitarian, conservation, and education organization. We schlep (I think that’s a Spanish word) up the steps, past the dining hall, to a shelter where private tents (with real beds!) are set up for us inside the screened enclosure.  With its open ventilation and high thatched roof shielding us from the sun, we were remarkably comfortable, even during the heat of the day. After settling in we explore the compound, climbing the 50-foot observation tower to get a parrot’s-eye view of the surrounding forest canopy. It’s the end of the day, and for us nearly 36 hours without sleep, but no matter . . . it’s time to enter the rainforest. Madre Selva has an extensive system of trails into terra firme, forest that doesn’t flood during the rainy season.  Our guide, Cesar, leads us on the short loop for an introductory hike.  As he points out what to watch for, we spot our first herp of the trip, a flash of neon on the forest floor. “Do you see it?!” “There!” “Where did it go?!” “Behind you!” “Wow!  Look at that!” It is exquisite.
Amazonian Poison Frog Dendrobates ventrimaculatus
All text copyright  2003-2014 by Eitan Grunwald.   All photographs copyright  2003-2014 Eitan and Ron Grunwald  (except photographs by others copyright per photo credits).  All rights reserved.
AMAZON
May 2005
 2 of 11
AMAZON
May 2005
 2 of 11
All text copyright  Eitan Grunwald.  All photographs copyright  Eitan or Ron Grunwald  except photographs by others are copyright per photo credits.  All rights reserved.  Terms