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  • After a hearty English breakfast, the hotel shuttle took us to the airport. It was a cheap and easy way of parking the car while we were away and we could start the journey feeling refreshed.

    Other than blagging a free upgrade to first class on the flight for the two of us, it was an uneventful flight. After eleven hours from London, we had a brief stopover at Caracas, Venezuela to refuel and change crew, then it was a short one hour 'hop' to Bogota.

    We were met there by our friends Andrea and Alberto, and we took a short taxi ride to their apartment. We had lots to catch up on over a quick meal and a few drinks, then after a decent night's sleep, we were up and back at the airport the following morning.

    Bogota is the third highest Capital city in South America, but we weren't there long enough to notice the thin oxygen.

    Our next flight lasted only about an hour but during it, all you could see from the plane were trees and rivers. There were no towns, villages, roads or fields ... it was beautiful, Gaia in all her glory.

    We landed at Leticia on the Columbian/Brazilian border. There were no 'air-bridges' to shepherd us from the plane to the terminal building. I knew it would be hot, but as I walked down the steps from the cool air conditioned plane to the tarmac, it was like walking into a hot, sticky swimming pool. You could feel a distinct division between the air-con and the outside air. You could feel the air cling to your skin.

    We made our way to the meeting point where we met the other two members of our imminent adventure, Dino and Marina, and then our guide Nestor whisked us off to the river to join the boat.

    Boat was rather a grandiose word for what we travelled in. It was little more than a straw with a big motor, covered by a parasol, but boy, did it move. It cut through the water like a knife.

    We could feel the world disappearing behind us. The buzz of the city was soon replaced by the splash of the bow and the thrum of the motor.

    Three or so hours later, we arrived at the entrance of the lagoon where we were to stay for the night. In the wet season, the lagoon entrance would normally be full with water, teeming with fish and cayman, piranhas looking for their next meal, but this was the opposite season, the dry season.

    The river was about sixteen feet lower than it would be when full. We didn't expect to have to haul the boat over the boggy entrance into the lagoon, but after a journey of three days, 6,000 miles, three flights and two cities, that's what we did. We got off the boat, and we dragged that thing from the river.

    We hauled the boat into the lagoon, then took our rucksacks to our huts for the night. We had a simple meal of fish, potato and plantains, then as daylight suddenly changed to night we watched a thunderstorm in the distance.

    After dinner, and in the dark, we had a short excursion around the lagoon in the boat to see the night time creatures, the birds and the cayman, it was off to bed ready for the next leg of our Amazon adventure.

    Boy did we sleep well that night.

    This photo is overlooking the lagoon from where we dined and watched the lightning.
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