OK. I’m back! You know, it is always wonderful to be back home after being gone! The trip I took to Peru was to help deliver some training relating to preventing illness. We were able to present to leaders from six different groups of Peruvian native tribes. While they all have their own language, most also spoke Spanish and we had translators to help us gringos to communicate.
We flew into Lima, Peru on 2/27 (actually arriving right after 12 midnight on 2/28, had about a five hour layover before flying to Iquitos. There are no roads to get to Iquitos – you can only get there by air or boat.
Iquitos is located on the Amazon. I was informed by the locals that the Amazon is birthed just a few miles before it reaches Iquitos by the confluence of several rivers upstream of the city. One of those rivers is the Maranon river. The Maranon has been considered the main source/contributor to the Amazon since first appearing on a map in 1707. The Maranon River continues to claim the title of the “mainstem source” or “hydrological source” of the Amazon due to its contribution of the highest annual discharge rates. The average discharge rate is 590,037 cubic feet per second. While we were there, I’m sure it was much higher than that because it was the rainy season and the water was VERY high.
Today’s photo is looking toward the Maranon river in the distance for some property that had been cleared of nearly all the rain forest foliage. It was early morning and the sunlight was just right to capture reflections, but also not so bright that the shadows weren’t still prominent.
More Peru pictures in coming days. I didn’t take my Canon 7D, but my Olympus point-and-shoot, so the pictures won’t be as good as if I’d taken the Canon (it was very wet there and I didn’t want to risk it!)
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1906, a devastating mine disaster killed over 1,000 workers in Courrieres, France. as an underground fire sparked a massive explosion that virtually destroyed a vast maze of mines.
The Courrieres Colliery in northern France was a complex series of mines near the Pas-de-Calais Mountains. Tunnels into the mines issued forth from several towns in the area and more than 2,000 men and boys worked the mines, digging for coal that was used mostly in the manufacture of gas.
At about 3 p.m. on the afternoon of March 9, a fire began 270 meters underground in what was known as the Cecil pit. Unable to immediately extinguish it, workers decided to close the pit’s outlets and starve the fire of air. The following morning, with 1,795 workers inside the mine’s deep tunnels, a huge explosion issued forth from the Cecil pit. Apparently, fissures in the pit’s walls had allowed in flammable gases that were then sparked by the still-smoldering fire. It was 7 a.m. when debris rocketed out of the tunnels’ openings. Several people on the surface were killed by the blast and the roof a mine office was blown right off the building.
Fires raged from every opening of the mine and many people suffered terrible burn injuries. Since the fires continued to burn, rescuers and family members of the miners were unable to send help down the mine shafts. One rescue party of 40 men paid the ultimate price for their attempt–they were all killed when the shaft they were descending collapsed. Soon, French soldiers were called in to establish order from the mounting chaos outside the mine.
As bodies began to be found, a mortuary was established near the mine. It took weeks for the all of the bodies to be recovered and identified. In the end, the casualty toll from this disaster was 1,060 miners killed, with hundreds more suffering serious injuries.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Initially, NBC asked Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry to get rid of the “guy with the pointy ears” partly because they were worried about his “satanic” appearance. Luckily, Roddenberry refused to cut Spock. May Leonard Nimoy rest in peace!