The Amazon river is born in Nauta, where the Ucayali and the Marañón rivers join together. The Amazon is the mightiest and the second longest river in the world, with a length of 6,500 kilometres and an average width of four kilometres. It has the largest river basin in the world, occupying over 7,050,000 square kilometres in size and receives the water of more than 1,100 rivers.
We arrive at the birthplace of the Amazon in the skiffs. As we arrive a large tree branch floats past us and on it are over twenty birds, sitting in a perfect line. We float downstream a little as we take in the sheer size and might of the Amazon river.
We travel on to an area covered with giant water lilies, that grow in the shallow regions of the river basin. The pads can grow up to forty-six centimetres in diameter and can support up to 136 kilograms of weight. The underpart of the pads are armoured with thorns to protect themselves from fish and other predators.
These plants have white flowers that only bloom at night and give off a beautiful butterscotch and pineapple scent, which attracts the beetles that pollinate the flower. When the beetle enters the flower it closes, capturing the beetle overnight. Once it releases all of its pollen on this beetle the white flowers turn pinky-purple and the beetle is released. The flower is then drawn into the water where the seeds develop. These flowers only live for three days, however the plants grow all year round in the Amazon.