Birder's Guide

MAR 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 17 of 73

Colombia "Mega - Tour" 16 Birder's Guide to Travel | April 2018 # 1 Photo © Bernard DuPont Colombia "Mega - Tour" A TOP 1 0 LIST he sea of green beneath us is sparsely dotted with flecks of yellow, orange, and the occasional pink. Meandering dark rivers weave their way in intricate shapes for unknown distances, flowing from the Andes into, eventually, the Amazon. We fly low. We fly slow. This is no jet we find ourselves in. We are traveling in a truly historic vessel: the venerable DC-3, the "workhorse" of numerous wars around the world. It was the first mass-produced civil/commercial aircraft to popularize commuter air travel. Pilots around the globe have been heard to say, "The only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3." For us, it is a replacement for our flight to Mitú, Colombia, which was sup- posed to be aboard a commercial jet. The only company flying this route has lived up to its reputation for being completely unre- liable, despite paid-in-full reservations. The DC-3 we are flying in, and the charter company that removed cargo from its innards to install extra seats for us, has proved to be much more reliable. As we fly a mere 2,000 feet above the trees, the Amazonian wil- derness, languishing in the heat of one of the most powerful dry seasons on record, stretches out from horizon to horizon. Even though this cargo plane is older than any of us (and it has the D-Day decals to prove it!), we feel very grateful. T # 2

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