This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trading, Ranches and Forest Desruction

Cleared pasture on the river bank.

As the day continued the human impact and the invasion of the forested river banks by cattle pasture became more evident. Large areas of cleared pasture land was obvious, not just at villages like Timpia, but also associated with ranching as well as clearing for small subsistence land holdings.

We stopped at a village where the charms of boat trading became obvious. This village was isolated enough that certain commodities like sugar, tea and potatoes were hard to come by so the boat skipper had stocked up with trading supplies of these scarce items.

The boatman shows of a potato he is selling.

Royal tea bags command a luxury premium and are dealt out one by one.

Village women, having completed their luxury shopping, return to the shore on a balsa wood raft.

Flocks of white herons were common on the river.

The next stop was to supply a rancher who had a cattle holding right on the river bank. A lone macho man, who was the unquestioned boss of a team of men who ran the farm hacienda style.

An Amazonian godfather to his men.

The rancher's house.

The ranch paddocks on the river bank.

Shortly afterward, we met a pair of boats carrying hod tied steers up the river to some unholy destination.

We then entered a zone where there was a lot of active burning, mostly smoldering fires that caused the whole region to become filled with a choking haze.

Ironically one of the older Peruvian passengers sported a tee-shirt saying "Ecologic World". Ranching on the jungle-clad river is not an eco-logic!

There was also a continuous stream of river traffic, at this level of the river entirely in motorized canoes, often filled to near overflowing with passengers, sometimes with a second canoe in tow.

Almost continuous clear felling follows the river as people colonize the main thoroughfares.

Soccer on the sand bank.

A blue heron in the distance.

A roost of white herons in the gathering dusk.

We traveled on into the late evening cutting through the dark waters, on the moonlit night, playing Jews harp and flute to wile away the time.

The night was repeatedly lit up by sheets of lightning eclipsing the hallowed moon.

In the late evening we stopped on another sand bank to camp for the night.

Morning came wet with cool drizzly rain leaving the river bank clouded with mist.

Others on the boat had already caught fish and gathered peanut-like ground nuts in pods.

One very tiny well disguised sand frog.

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