Exploring the Amazon Author:Helen and Frank Schreider Like the sinuous veins of an enormous leaf, the tangled tributaries of the Amazon writhe across an area two-thirds the size of the United States. One-fifth of all the river water in the world spills from the Amazon's mouth into the Atlantic Ocean. Along its course, adventure lurks around every bend. Indians and anacondas, raging rapids and jagua... more »rs, shantytowns and boomtowns- all radiate an exotic allure for 20th-century man.
In Exploring the Amazon Helen and Frank Schreider and their German shepherd Balthazar journey the length of the river from its five-inch-wide source high in the Andes to the Atlantic. From San Francisco, Peru- the first point at which the stream becomes navigable- the authors traveled by water, using the transportation familiar to the people along the river: a balsa raft, then a dugout canoe, adn finally a 30-foot boat the Schreider named the Amazon Queen.
They visited moonlit Inca ruins, battled whirlpools and rapids, swatted millions of mosquitoes, and watched an Indian witch doctor try to cure a woman dying of tuberculosis. They struggled to learn to "read" the Amazon- to know its treacherous shallows and sand bars. In Iquitos, source of many of the tropical fish in our home aquariums, they marveled at saucer-size butterflies and a beetle as big as a bat. In Manaus they stood on the silent stage of a lavish opera house built with the profits of a turn-of-the-century rubber boom. Finally, near the mouth of the river- eight miles from land on storm-tossed waters- they shared a heart-stopping moment of terror fighting to keep their little craft from capsizing.
Exploring the Amazon, a stirring account of a courageous couple's adventures, captures in text and photographs the awesome grandeur of the world's mightiest river.« less