The Amazon… A BLOOMIN´ Wonder!
October 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
A journey through the Amazon – PART TWO
by Dave Chadwick
Back on the boat to Manaus I was overcome once again by the magnitude of just how much water I was sailing upon. But on this trip I was also riled by anger at certain things I saw, most notably the throwing of cigarettes, beer cans, or any other rubbish directly into the river by other passengers on the boat! I mean don’t get me wrong it bothers me back home, I make a point of putting my own cigarette butts into a bin and was brought up by a mother who would tell people off in public when she saw people litter, like she was some kind of school teacher or something. And even on this trip already I had seen much more littering than I would have liked, but there’s something about being on the actual Amazon river, the very thing we are supposed to protect, and maybe it bothered me even more as I had just spent time in the wonderfully clean and completely litter free home of the Maguary tribe. This really made me wonder just how much rubbish in the world is simply thrown away nonchalantly like it’s not that person’s problem, well it IS! It’s our planet and our environment and if we continue to live with such disregard for nature the world won’t be so beautiful for long! I don’t care if it’s the Amazon, the Trent, or the puddle on your driveway…DON’T LITTER…BIN IT!!
Ok Rant over. The final part of my trip I would like to share with you is my time spent getting to and volunteering at an animal reserve in Bolivia, La Sende Verde. Firstly in getting to the refuge, which is just a 3 hour drive or so from La Paz in beautiful cloud forest, we had to take a bus from the border of Brazil, for 13 hours to a town called Rurrenebaque, then another bus for approximately 18 hours to another town called Coroico. This may seem a long time on a bus and again serves to underline the sheer size of the Amazon basin, but believe me this journey would have been a lot more comfortable and a lot shorter had it not been for the shocking sight out of the window. No not the striking colour of the tropical plants, not the interesting villages and communities, not even the sheer thousand meter drops on the way to Coroico, I am talking about the miles and miles of scorched earth and the endless hours of logged farmland! I knew this view was here for me to see, knew I would stumble across it at some point, but seeing it for real certainly made me realise just what is going on over here, it’s not a joke my friends the forests are being destroyed. Now believe me when I say that there is nothing quite like curing one’s shock at seeing deforestation than arriving at an animal refuge and seeing a spider monkey swoop down from the tree to sit on a fellow volunteers head, it truly takes one’s mind of previous events.
But no matter how much fun it is to hang out with spider, capuchin, and squirrel monkeys all day, there’s no end to the sadness in realising the stories of where these animals have come from and the fact they will never be wild again. Like almost all the animals at La Sende Verde, that monkey who first made me smile (Cacao is his name) is a victim of losing his home to deforestation, then having his mother killed for fur, and finally being sold on the black Market as a pet. No matter how much fun it was meeting the monkeys and talking with the many Macaws, it only served to highlight yet another devastating effect that deforestation has on our world.
So there it is folks, a brief insight into what I have been up to in South America. Now I don’t mean to literally coin the phrase ‘penny for your thoughts’ but if you feel at all move or more inspired than you already should about saving our environment, then buy some ‘blooms’ and help protect this wonder of our world.