Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

February 6, 2014

Explore least inhabited river in Amazon Basin

By Ken Steadman
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — Award-winning filmmaker Marlin Darrah will take you on a rarely visited venture along the Rio Negro River located in the Amazon Basin. You will seek out the mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest and in the heart of wild nature. This trip explores some of the most untouched rainforest in the entire Amazon.

The Fairfield Glade Lions Club is pleased to bring you on this adventure Monday, March 3, starting at 7 p.m. in the Palace Theatre. Tickets are available at the door for $7 per person. This marks the fifth Travelogue in the series. The final adventure will take place the first Monday in April with a visit to “Bhutan, The Cloud Kingdom.”

The March 3 show will expose you to creatures almost never seen. The journey is rather like being in a time machine in that you are able to visit places that have not changed for millions of years. There are all kinds of forest including the strange and beautiful flooded forest known by Amazon Indians as the Igapo. Orchids and bromeliads cling to the limbs of overhanging trees, which are also home to many fishing birds and iguanas.

You will explore the other two kinds of rainforest of the Amazon: the tall terre firme forest and the fantastically rich varzea forest. You’ll see amazingly colorful birds, magnificent trees draped with vines and carpeted with orchids and occasional monkeys chattering and cavorting in the branches. The rainforest in this area has very unique plants and animals. Swim off deserted beaches in water as pure and clean as rainwater and be treated to vistas of wild rainforest stretching as far as the eye can see. At night, the filmmaker explores the river’s edge with flashlights to see caiman, close relatives of the crocodiles. Their eyes have a reddish glow in reflected light.

The Brazilian Amazon has few cities and the vast region is still almost entirely covered with primitive tropical forest. For part of this exciting program, you travel up the Rio Negro River. At its confluence with the Amazon River, it has over three times the volume of the Mississippi. It is the second largest river in the world—second to the Amazon River itself.

Another feature of the program will be visits to the homes of deep forest settlers. You will visit with them and learn what lives are like, living on the edge of this vast trackless forest.

The program ends with a visit to the fascinating jungle city of Manaus. Famous for its colorful harbor filled with huge riverboats and massive daily open-air market that is filled with energetic local people displaying an incredible range of huge river fish, tropical fruits, unique jungle handicrafts and potent herbal medicines.

Give yourself an enjoyable evening and relax in the comfort of the Palace Theater for a trip along the Amazon Basin. Cold drinks, popcorn or candy bar are available at the concession stand.