A fun Sunday at the Butterfly Farm, and on the Nanay River with Dawn on the Amazon.
Our crew, cruising up the Nanay River to the Butterfly Farm
I had more fun last Sunday than I’ve had in months. Marmelita was up early cooking a lot, including a large pot of rice with vegetables, seasoned with guizador, a delicious root spice that adds flavor as well as an attractive yellow color similar to saffron, a beef tenderloin, hard boiled eggs, and a big salad. It was the Dawn on the Amazon and Amazon Golf Course office picnic and party. We had a ball! A volley ball that is. Over 40 people showed up and filled my boat to near capacity. We cruised up the Nanay River to the village of Padre Cocha and the butterfly farm.
The rest of the crew, cruising to the Butterfly Farm on board Dawn on the Amazon
The residents of Padre Cocha have deforested the land between their village and the river. We had to hike in the sun all the way to the village and the Butterfly Farm, and so do they. The government is partially responsible. Each land holder received S/ 2000 soles credit to clear the land and to plant camu-camu. I love camu-camu juice, it’s beautiful, delicious, and nutritious, but nearly all of the Padre Cocha camu-camu plants died, so they have no shade and no camu-camu. Camu-camu does best when it starts in the shade, not the hot boiling sun that dries out the ground and cracks the soil. It was particularly stupid not to leave a band of trees along the trail to provide shade for us humans. I’m not in good shape, my old wound was hurting, and by the time I limped into the shade of the Butterfly Farm where the trees are protected and appreciated, I was hot under the collar.
- The crew of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe tour the Butterfly Farm
We took the tour, learned about the life cycle of the butterfly and their host plants, and the orphaned animals that were lucky enough to end up here where they are treated like pets, or better, like human children.
The crew of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe touring the Butterfly Farm
Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises runs the best day trips out of Iquitos, and the Butterfly Farm is one of our favorite destinations. Most of the crew from the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe and the Amazon Golf Course had never been to the Butterfly Farm so it was all new to them, and they really enjoyed the experience, and were proud to be part of the crew that was brought here to learn.
A Rothschiladia moth with translucent patches on its's wings, photographed and observed at the Butterfly Farm by the crew of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe
The amazing Rothschiladia Moth in the photo above is born to breed. It only lives two or three days, and has no digestive system. The female releases pheromones that the male can detect from 15 kilometers away, and he hurries to do his genetic duty before it’s too late. These facts are just a small sample of what can be learned at the Butterfly Farm.
Bill Grimes, founder of Dawn on the Amazon, visiting with his good friend Guddrun Sperrer, founder of the Butterfly Farm
Gudrun Sperrer is the founder, owner, heart and soul of the Amazon Animal Orphanage and Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm. She is one of the hardest working and most interesting members of the ex-pat community near Iquitos, and a good friend of ours. She’s a regular at the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe so we visit several times a week and compare how our lives and businesses are going, and lend moral support when needed. She usually orders a smoothie and an omelet or a fajita.
Deydi and Stacy with the monkeys at the Butterfly Farm.
The Red-faced Uakari, and the Red Howler monkeys are some of the highlights for me. When the howlers get going with that noise it is really something to hear. The first time you hear them you are sure to think it is a couple of dangerous wild jaguar come to eat you.
Dawn on the Amazon at a deserted sand beach on the Nanay River where the crew of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe had a fun day.
After the tour of the Butterfly Farm we loaded back up in the boat and motored upstream on the Nanay River until we came to the perfect place, a large, beautiful, deserted, white sand beach. We “beached” the boat and jumped out ready for action.
Part of the crew of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe having fun swimming in the Nanay River on our Sunday day off together
On went the bathing suits, up went the volleyball net, out came the delicious bounty of food and the cooler full of beer, we let out a cheer, and the fun continued…
Chema and her children at the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe picnic.
The picnic was a feast, with plenty left over for a picnic dinner before we headed home. The second meal was simple with 80 loaves of our ciabatta bread with Edam cheese, hard boiled eggs, a big jar of orange marmelade, and various left overs from lunch. It hit the spot in the late afternoon, washed down with the last of the beer and soda pop, after playing hard all day. No one went home hungry.
Pink Dolphin at the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe office picnic
By the end of the day I was sun burned and exhausted. I mean exhausted!!!
Part of the crew and their friends and family, of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe, watching the volleyball games.
Volleyball, swimming, and spectating were the main activities for the afternoon. We stayed busy.
Filo and Marmelita enjoying our day off on the white sandy beach on the Nanay River.
No one had more fun than Marmelita and her mom Filo. To see more photos and learn more about the story of our day, click these links to two other articles, The Amazon Golf Course Crew Visits the Butterfly Farm And A Picnic With Dawn on the Amazon, and Day Trip To The Butterfly Farm and The White Sandy Beaches Of The Nanay River.
Captain Bill Grimes, wading the Nanay River, leaning on the good ship Dawn on the Amazon. This could be you!
I guess you could call this an informal, fun, office picnic party, made possible by me, Captain Bill Grimes, my wife Marmelita, and the good ship Dawn on the Amazon I. I wanted everyone that works for me, 20 of the best men and women I know in Iquitos, to be closer, to encourage teamwork, to know more about each other, so the right hand would know what the left hand was doing, when the right hand was doing something entirely different. In other words the people that work for Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises should socialize and be friendly, and ready to help, with the crews of the Dawn on the Amazon Cafe, and the Amazon Golf Course, to cross pollinate the crews, so to speak.