The watch alarm interrupted complete darkness, enough to stir us awake.
We survived the night in our thatched hut without incident! Only forgetting that it was still night and we had to get up and get dressed under torch light. Remember, shine the torch only wear necessary and not up. Last evening’s clothes re-worn; new application of insect repellent rubbed on.
Just after 4.30am, we were wandering back down the path toward the canoe. Careful not to shine the torch off the track neither and, remembering to swing wide away from the holes we had taken a mental note of the day before. Conversation was loud to warn we were approaching so as not to make eye contact with, anything.
Out onto the lake we paddled and back towards the canal; back to where we uplifted the canoe from, and the hut with the coca cola, water and local inka cola. It was all shut up and quiet. Only us.
Streaks of orange and red were appearing on the horizon as dawn was breaking.
We re-traced our steps along the walking board for a kilometre and a half before Alex stepped off, and straight into the jungle foliage he went. Without hesitation, we followed, keeping right up Alex’s jacksy so as not to loose sight of him. There was a trodden track that we certainly didn’t deviate from it.
We could already hear them before Alex put his finger to his mouth to usher silence. We creep forward at a snakes pace – I mean snail, to a small open area that had enough camouflage to hide us from their line of sight. Looking up, we saw what we had come to see. There were dozens of them.
McCaw Parrots feeding off a snapped in half palm tree. Below them clinging to the same tree, were a number of Mealey Parrot’s. Everyday, they congregate at the same spot at the same time to peck at the minerals from the rotting tree. The noise was berserk. As were new arrivals trying to off-stage the old ones off the stump.
We stood there for about an hour. As the sun climbed up into the sky, the colour of shade dispersed. And as the sun reached the feather of the parrots, did the full colour of their beauty blaze. A rainbow of greens, blues, reds and yellows. Still the noise was berserk.
There is no rhyme of reason for when they decide to fly off. Other people arrived as the parrots took to the sky. Too late. They should have had Alex as their guide; he was certainly onto it.
We too departed, backtracking the track towards our canoe.
What we had just experienced was so captivating. Made extra special because it was Claire’s birthday. What a start to the a special day. The best present one could ever receive, being present at a McCaw feeding frenzy.
This was going to be a day of more, being present.