Solbit feels a calm settling in

Dear Nicalai,

You know how Nona likes to wake up at 6:30 or 7:00 AM, sit up in bed, pull out her iPad, open her New York Times Replica Edition app, and read the newspaper until mid-morning right there in bed? Then maybe she’ll eat a little something around 11. Well that’s not happening here in Manu. We have to get up really early, usually by 5:00 AM or before!

At 5:50 AM, we’ve already gotten dressed, had breakfast, piled into our river canoe, and started our river trip to another interesting place in Manu.

At 5:50 AM, we’ve already gotten dressed, had breakfast, piled into our river canoe, and started our river trip to another interesting place in Manu.

Poor Nona! She not only has to get up and get out of bed early but she also has to have her breakfast well before 6:00 AM, most days. Also, no electricity and no internet. So she can’t have a fresh NYT daily.  She reads old, back issues, but not in the morning. She has to wait until we get back from our morning excursions.

On the Madre de Dios River (that means “mother of god river,” I think), it strikes me: how nice to name a river for the mother of god. She deserves a lot of credit, right?

On the Madre de Dios River (that means “mother of god river,” I think), it strikes me: how nice to name a river for the mother of god. She deserves a lot of credit, right?

We sit in our comfortable car seats that have been installed in our big river canoe, and, the calm of the river settles over me. I can tell that Susie, Tom, Nona and Papa feel the calming effect too.  In fact, one of them is so “calm” that I hear snoring sounds.

Our canoe went through a little rough water, and that was a sign that we had gone from the Madre de Dios River to the Manu River. Another way to tell the difference is that the Manu River looks much more brown, that is, muddy.

Our canoe went through a little rough water, and that was a sign that we had gone from the Madre de Dios River to the Manu River.  Another way to tell the different rivers is that the Manu River looks much more brown, that is, muddy.

Speaking of mud. If you have rubber boots, you want to wear them on these river trips, because getting on and off the river canoe can be a wet and muddy exercise. Of course, I don’t need rubber boots, because Nona always carries me in her purse pocket.

Dorothy, our travel companion from Germany, brought her rubber boots and they served her well.  I even think the boots look fashionable. Don’t you?

Dorothy, our travel companion from Germany, brought her rubber boots and they served her well.  I even think the boots look fashionable. Don’t you?

Well, you are probably so bored by my story of being calm on these rivers that by now you’re snoring too.  Still, if you ever need to calm yourself, you might consider an early morning — I mean very early — canoe trip on a wide river somewhere.  Sometimes calm can be a good thing.  I bet it might even be healthy.  Bye for now.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

July 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

Solbit’s Big Amazon Basin Adventure

Dear Nicalai,

Well, we’re already in Peru. Nona and Papa have taken us to a remote area of Peru’s Amazon basin region called Manu! More birdwatching … and reptiles and mammals too!

We traveled by boat on a big, wide, fast moving river.  I saw this alligator first and yelled to everyone in our big river canoe, “Alligator!”  Wrong. Our excellent Manu Expeditions guide, Danny, gently corrected me, “Solbit, I know it looks like an alligator, but, actually, it is a caiman.” That’s why we have guides, you know, to help us learn.  I said, “Thank you!”

That's not an alligator. It's a caiman. We saw it from our big river canoe on the Alto Madre de Dios River on our way to Manu.

That’s not an alligator. It’s a caiman. We saw it from our big river canoe on the Alto Madre de Dios River on our way to Manu.

We see all kinds of wildlife here in Manu: birds, frogs, monkeys,  and even a tapir!

We saw this Large-headed Capuchin Monkey at the Cock of the Rock Lodge on our way to the park. He wanted me to give him a banana. Our cousin Tom gave him one. Then he just wanted another.

We saw this Large-headed Capuchin Monkey at the Cock of the Rock Lodge on our way to the park. He wanted me to give him a banana. Our cousin Tom gave him one. Then he just wanted another.

Traveling by river canoe is an adventure.  Sometimes it is even scary. The current of the river is fast, but the river is wide and shallow in places.  The boat can get stuck.  Our captain, Jose, was so good at “reading the river” that he almost always found the hidden deep channels to ride. When he didn’t, he got help from Aurelio.

Aurelio, our boatman, was strong and often saved our river canoe from getting caught on tree snags, dragging on the bottom, or crashing into rocks.

Aurelio, our boatman, was strong and often saved our river canoe from getting caught on tree snags, dragging on the bottom, or crashing into rocks.

I didn’t get to tell you all my Ecuador stories.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that Katy, Dino, and I did so well at birdwatching in Mindo, Ecuador that we’ve graduated from wonderful birdwatching in Ecuador to an Amazonian adventure to see all kinds of wild life.  Here’s our graduation dinner that we had in Ecuador before we left for Peru.

Marcelo (R), our guide in Mindo, Ecuador, and our friend Louise (L) helped us celebrate our graduation, before we left for Peru. That’s me (orange), Dino (blue), and Katy (red). Only we got to sit on the table, because we’re really small.

Marcelo (R), our guide in Mindo, Ecuador, and our friend Louise (L) helped us celebrate our graduation, before we left for Peru. That’s me (orange), Dino (blue), and Katy (red). Only we got to sit on the table, because we’re really small.

My first graduation!  Papa says that I’ll have many more.  Have you already had a graduation, too? Graduations are good because they bring us our next big adventures! Look at me.  I’m proof of that.

I wish you were here.  Bye! I’m your friend.

Love,

signature

 

 

 

Solbit

July 2016

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”