The Amazon comprises more than half of Earth's tropical rainforest. It stretches across 9 countries in South America and it is home to more species than any other rainforest on the planet. Thirty million people make their home in the Amazon jungle, with more than 60 groups of indigenous people who are largely isolated. The Amazon rainforest is at least 55 million years old and it has been settled by humans for more than 11,000 years. Incredibly, the Amazon receives more than half of it's fertilizer from the Sahara desert in Chad with the wind blowing dust across the ocean to settle in the Amazon basin. This is how the phosphorous that is crucial for plant growth is replaced each year as rain and erosion carry it out to the ocean. This is a perfect example of the delicate balance in nature that holds our planet in harmony. These guests have traveled from Canada to experience the beauty of the remote jungle in Ecuador. This trip required several flights to get them to the Napo River where they embarked on a journey in a motor canoe for several more hours. The weather varied between sunshine and intense rain over a short period of time. The guests landed along the riverbank and hiked to a remote dock where they climbed into dugout canoes for another leg of their journey along narrow creeks that snaked through the jungle to a beautiful blackwater lake deep in the forest. Sacha lodge, situated at the edge of the lake would be their home for almost a week as they were guided each day by experienced naturalists who had lived in this jungle their entire lives. Each day was another adventure as they learned about the plants and animals in the most biodiverse tract of land in the world. Walter, Anna, and Pablo shared their wealth of knowledge, their stories and experiences for a close look at one of the most fascinating and mysterious places on earth. A day hike to a giant Kapok tree provided the opportunity to climb above the canopy to see out over the rainforest for miles in all directions. An abundance of life can be found here with more species of insects and plants growing on just one tree than exists in many entire states in the the U.S. Night hikes were thrilling and intimidating. The jungle sounds were deafening and a constant reminder that the creatures that are active at night are very much at home in near complete darkness. Although a feeling of vulnerability is unavoidable, wonder and amazement soon replace any reluctance to venture farther in search of new creatures to examine. The Amazon jungle is alive with sound, sight, and colour. Every new plant and every new creature hold a fascinating story as the guides explain their role in a wonderfully complex ecosystem. Above all else, the Amazon is a place of indescribable beauty and wonder.
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