After traveling to the east coast, visiting friends along the way, and having some exciting adventures I am at the precipice of a part of the spring and summer travel plan. In two days I will be flying to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to meet up with a small group of people to fly to the Amazon River in Brazil.
Wait a minute did I just say I am going to the Amazon, the River, Brazil? Yes, that is exactly what I said. I will be spending twelve days aboard the Dorinha. I will be traveling with Amazonia Expeditions on a privately arranged trip. Some of the passengers I know and some I will get to know shortly. In two days.
Two to three times each day we leave our home boat and explore different areas in skiffs or canoes. The flora and fauna are all new. Everything will be exciting and different and new. That is the fun of international travel.
Here are some interesting facts about this mighty river.
- The Amazon River Once Flowed in the Opposite Direction Between 65 and 145 million years ago, the Amazon River flowed towards the Pacific Ocean, in the opposite direction it flows today. Where the Amazon River’s mouth sits today, there was once a highland that allowed for this westerly flow. The rise of the Andes Mountains in the west forced the Amazon River to reverse course.
- It’s the Largest River in the World by Volume. The Amazon River has the largest volume of freshwater of any river in the world. The River releases around 200,000 liters of freshwater into the ocean every second. Together, this freshwater flow accounts for nearly 20% of all river water that enters the sea.
- It is the Second Longest River on Earth. At about 4,000 miles long, the Amazon River is the second-longest river in the world. The Amazon’s impressive length is exceeded by the 4,132-mile-long Nile River.
- It’s Home to the Amazon River Dolphin, also known as the pink river dolphin, and is one of just four species of “true” river dolphins.
- It’s Named After a Greek Myth. According to Greek mythology, the “Amazons” were a group of nomadic female warriors that roamed around the Black Sea.
- A Family Canoed to the Amazon River from Canada. In 1980, Don Starkell and his two sons, Dana and Jeff, left Winnipeg on a canoe towards the Amazon River. Jeff abandoned the trip when they reached Mexico, but Don and Dana ventured on. Nearly two years later, the father-son duo reached the Amazon. By the end of the trip, they had canoed over 12,000 miles.
- It Has Over 100 Dams
- The Amazon River has no Bridges. All 10 million people who live on the banks of the Amazon River can only cross the freshwater flow by boat. The lack of bridges is due, in part, to the seasonal changes in the Amazon River bed. During the rainy season, the Amazon River can rise over 30 feet, tripling the width of the River in some places.
- It Crosses Through Four Countries. The Amazon River passes through Brazil, Columbia, Peru, and Venezuela, with Brazil holding by far the largest portion of the River.
- It’s Where 40% of All Water in South America Ends Up. The Amazon River’s height rises substantially in the rainy season because around 40% of all of South America’s water ends up in the River.
This river will be my home for 12 days. I am excited and a bit anxious all at the same time. Excited most people can understand. Why anxious? I love to travel. It was my job for thirteen years. I was an International Tour Manager, taking people on tours to Mexico, the Panama Canal, and throughout the United States and Canada.
The unknown makes me a bit anxious. Have I packed the right things? Are my flights all status quo? What if I miss the boat? (that is almost guaranteed not to happen on this trip. What if I get sick? What will travel post Covid be like? What if other members of the group don’t like me? What if, What if, What if….????
I am thankful that I can find things to keep myself busy. It helps keep the anxiousness at bay. I breathe often, deep and slow and relaxing. I take the kayak out. I go on a bike ride. Tonight I went over to the dam and watched a female duck try to convince the last of the babies to come up over the dam. It didn’t work but it was entertaining to watch. Diversion helps get rid of being anxious.
Monday I check my list. I make sure that everything is ready to go – I am ready to go and my stuff is ready to travel with me.
And then…I take a deep breath and head off into the unknown.