As I was marveling in my surroundings, droplets of water spray dancing lightly on my cheeks from the skiff, a family of river dolphins simultaneously arch from the Amazon in synchronicity. Their palpable joy is infectious.
They play in the wake of the skiff, showing personality unlike anything I’ve ever seen from nature. We slow down the skiff as we come to an area were two tributaries meet, and my eyes rest upon new creatures, pink river dolphins, making their presence known. They rise from the black water like a Loch Ness monster, showing their unique body quickly before disappearing again.
A rain storm comes out of the blue sky suddenly, and knowingly the dolphins dissipate. Our guides seem unaffected by the approaching black clouds, and surprise us with a champagne toast as the sun sets behind the approaching storm.
As night surrounds us and the rain falls, we are told that it is time to look for caiman’s, the Amazonian equivalent of an alligator. With a powerful flashlight in hand, our guide pans over the Amazonian waters, searching for the bright eyes of the prehistoric creature.
Excitedly, he motions to the skiff driver to go closer to shore. As the boat slows, he keeps a steady hand holding the flashlight on a spot in the water, and then quickly dives his arm in the darkness, and pulls up my first view of a caiman.
Soaked and ecstatic, I hold the animal tightly, feeling a rapid heartbeat through its skin. I look in its eyes and realize it is looking back at me with terror. I release it into the water, my own heart racing.
Just another amazing day in the jungle.