We were heading for a region of the Amazon I had never visited before and, despite my calm, confident exterior, on the inside, as usual, I felt like a kid in a sweetshop. I’m the first to admit that when it comes to wildlife and new environments, if I have a local guide, I can be like the child in the back seat, who is constantly asking, “Are we nearly there yet?”. With every sound, I find it impossible not to ask, “What’s that over there?” or, “What was that call?” - “and what about the higher pitched one” etc etc.
Whatever he felt on the inside, Uriel never so much as raised an eyebrow. All my excited questions were met with confident identifications, and you have to bear in mind that I wasn’t pointing at anything for visual IDs, I was asking about sounds and calls. “Russet-Backed Oropendola”, Uriel told me, “Spix’s Guan”, “Paradise Tanager”, “Dusky Titi Monkey”… Birds, frogs, monkeys, it didn’t matter, Uriel seemed to know them all.
Uriel and myself, dwarfed by an enormous Kapok tree