Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
By the acclaimed author of The Soul of an Octopus and the bestselling memoir The Good Good Pig.
When Sy Montgomery ventured into the Amazon to unlock the mysteries of the littleknown pink dolphins, she found ancient whales that plied the Amazon River at dawn and dusk, swam through treetops in flooded forests, and performed underwater ballets with their flexible bodies. But she soon found out that to know the botos, as the dolphins are locally called, you must also know the people who live among them.
And so in Journey of the Pink Dolphins, Montgomery―part naturalist, part poet, part Indiana Jones―winds her way through watery tributaries and riverside villages, searching for botos and hearing the tales of locals who believe these ethereal dolphins are shape-shifters―creatures that emerge from the water as splendidly dressed men or women only to enchant their human onlookers, capture their souls, and then carry them away to the Encante, an underwater world. Montgomery takes readers on four separate journeys, exploring the river-dwelling dolphins’ natural history, chronicling their conservation pressures, unraveling their prehistoric roots, and visiting with shamans who delve into the Encante.
overhead, the angels of Music and Opera, Dance and Tragedy, the ghosts of divas and Indians, seem to grow vibrant, to come to life. Weightless as swimming dolphins, they seem to dance in the dark, and beckon us into the jungle. The Meeting of the Waters The morning of our departure for the Meeting of the Waters, only one chore stood between us and the dolphins: the purchase of a frozen chicken. Unfortunately, “I would like a frozen chicken” was not on my language tapes. So, as I stood at the
jaguar in the moonlight. I realized this was a powerful omen. The Barasana people of Colombia consider jaguars the intermediaries between earth and sky, life and death, spirit and soul, water and land—and no wonder: This largest American cat is master of the worlds, for it can swim powerfully, climb trees like a leopard, and is active day and night. The Kayapo-Gorotirés say the jaguar originally owned fire; now you see it only reflected in its eyes. In fact, the Kayapos called the first
forest that were illegally cut to the west in the Huallaga River basin to grow coca for cocaine. But the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo reserve has no such scars. There is no commercial logging; no oil drilling; no cattle grazing inside its borders. No sign announces the boundaries of the reserve, either. No forest guard stood watch as we entered—only a pygmy marmoset, clinging with orange hands to a spine-covered chambira palm. Its black-ringed, tawny tail hung down like a lizard’s. Moises and Mario
to quell these huge foreign appetites. But perhaps Mamirauá’s management plan might. Every one of us—Miriam, Andrea, Dianne, Augusto, and I—wanted the same thing: to save this toweringly cruel and nourishing dawn world from fading to twilight. “In my opinion, you can preserve biodiversity only if the people want it,” Márcio Ayres once said. “If the president says, ‘ I’m going to preserve’, that won’t mean much if the government changes in four years. But conservation by the wish of the local
well. He strangled on his own demented desires, and died “in a fit of erotic mania” three months before his beloved opera house would open. These ghosts have lingered for a hundred years; but this is the first time in ninety they have heard the music of an opera. In the second act of La Traviata, the couple is living at Alfredo’s house near Paris, and Violetta has sold her jewels to meet their expenses. But despite her noble gesture, she is still a former courtesan, and an embarrassment to