Our expedition leader, Lucio, explains that every Lindblad/National Geographic excursion features a special breakfast away from the boat, and ours will be at the Jungle Cafe. We clamber aboard the skiffs, wondering at the possibility of such an establishment in the middle of the wilderness. All becomes clear when we tie up next to a skiff staffed by our white-gloved servers, filled with everything we will need for a multi course breakfast. Fresh juices, fruit skewers, egg salad sandwiches, pastries, coffee. It’s all served beautifully, of course, on Delphin II tableware, as the river laps against our skiffs and we watch morning come to the Amazon.
It is our last day on the river. We’ve been promised that we will swim with the pink river dolphins, a freshwater species unique to the Amazon. All week we’ve watched them from the Delphin II, as they suddenly appear to swim along beside us, and disappear just as fast. Yes, they are pink, and river legends have it that they are enchanted creatures. Amazonian women are warned to beware of their charms, for there are multiple accounts of their ability to seduce when they come out of the river and take human form, enticing new lovers back to Encante, their golden underwater kingdom. I, for one, am ready to take my chances.
The skiffs head for a black water lake, a favorite pink dolphin hang out. We spot them, a distance from our boats, leaping out of the water. We leap too, into the warm water, made black by acids of inundated plants. Delightful. There are multi-colored noodles for those of us who prefer to float around, and bottles of beer and soda to drink as we paddle. Although the dolphins keep their distance, we are privileged to share their element, their world. Needless to say, Emma is ecstatic.
We all agree that our time on the Delphin II has gone by way too fast. Emma lets us know she would stay forever. She knows everyone on the boat far better than we do – staff and guests – and there are many fond farewells and hugs. She and Nat Geo photographer, Jeff, promise to stay in touch (and they do). It has been an adventure magical beyond expectations.