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Updated by theplanetd on Dec 03, 2016
Headline for Airlifted from the Amazon, Our Worst Travel Fears Realized
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Airlifted from the Amazon, Our Worst Travel Fears Realized

We were four days into our cruise with International Expeditions and we were deep in the Amazon rainforest. We had been floating farther and farther into the jungle to experience life on the river where we viewed hundreds of birds and primates that lived on its shores. It was only one more day before the ship was to turn around to slowly make its way back to Iquitos – the jumping off city for expeditions to the Amazon. The only way in or out was either by plane or several days on a boat. This was as remote a

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We were four days into our cruise with International Expeditions and we were deep in the Amazon rainforest. We had be...

We were four days into our cruise with International Expeditions and we were deep in the Amazon rainforest. We had be...

And then it happened.Our morning river safari started early and we spent it cruising up and down tributaries in search of wildlife. After a couple of hours, we stopped for picnic breakfast before taking a leisurely stroll through the jungle. It was the first jungle hike of our expedition.At the last minute, Dave decided to grab the flash for his camera. It was darker in the jungle than expected and if we were to capture pictures of scorpions or tarantulas, it may come in handy. He ran back to the boat while I waited with the group. Within seconds I heard a shriek.

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The flight to Iquitos was only supposed to be about a half an hour

The flight to Iquitos was only supposed to be about a half an hour

. But it was less than 10 minutes before the pilot made a sharp turn to land on the river. The sky was black ahead and there was no way this tiny plane would be able to fly through the storm.

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I was terrified that Dave was going to fall out the door!

I was terrified that Dave was going to fall out the door!

I remember the pilot closing the door before take off. He reached back over his shoulder and turned the lever with little regard as to whether it was completely locked or not. I never thought much of it until we banked right in the direction where Dave could have fallen out if the doors happened to open. Luckily, they held tight.The pilot found a sturdy tree to tie up to as we sat out the wind and the rain floating on the Amazon River. It was hot and Dave was in agony. I couldn’t reach his head to give any comfort. I was sitting in the front seat and he was laying on the floor in the back with an assistant from Iquitos taking care of him. All I heard him say was “I can’t take it much longer”About a half hour went by and we were finally back in the air. I was feeling optimistic that we would soon be in Iquitos. We few by some villages below and a half hour later I was sure we’d be coming up to the city.After awhile, the pilot started circling in the sky and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Was he lost? Did we go off course? But then, he banked right and descended towards the river once again. This time he drove for a while on the river. Dave yelled, “are we there yet?” I had the task of having to tell Dave not to get his hopes up, we were landing again due to bad weather. Dave felt every bump as we crashed over logs and waves. I could hear his faint groans over the engine. My heart broke and I worried that his back was getting worse with every minute that went by.I wasn’t sure where the pilot was driving until he pulled up to a village and hopped out of the plane. He handed a young boy a rope to hold onto our plane to keep us from floating down the river. Then, he and the assistant from Iquitos disappeared. As Dave and I waited in the stifling heat, the entire village came out to stare at us. We weren’t sure what was going on. Were we waiting out another storm? Were they just going to leave us here? Were we anywhere near Iquitos? Our questions were finally answered.

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It was bumpy, it was hot, and Dave was in agony.

I had no idea how far we were from Iquitos, but I knew Dave couldn’t survive a long ride on this vehicle. It was cramped and it jostled through the streets causing severe pain. He’d never make it!

It was 9:30 am when Dave Took his fall. We arrived at the hospital close to 8:00 pm.

His ordeal lasted over 10 hours and in that time he didn’t eat, drink or receive any painkillers. He just laid on his side suffering in near silence. It hurt to speak and it hurt to move. His shoulder wasn’t injured in the fall, but it was causing him more discomfort than his back at this point due to the fact that he had been laying on it for nearly eleven hours!It was another 7 days before we’d get back to Canada. The hospital in Iquitos told us that Dave fractured a vertebrae in his spine. (Since returning to Canada we’ve learned that he fractured two!) It was a difficult time that we will tell you all about, but we were grateful for everyone in the community rallying together to help a stranger.The passengers on our Amazon cruise were patient and gracious as we held up the boat waiting for a plane. The villagers came quickly to our rescue when we needed help, the hospital staff did their best to comfort Dave and control his pain and the staff of International Expeditions and Explorama were generous with their time and expertise. We couldn’t have gotten through any of this without them.It’s a trying time for the two of us, but it could have been worse and we are grateful that more harm wasn’t done.

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    Dave Bouskill and Deb Corbeil founded ThePlanetD after cycling the continent of Africa in 2008. Now well-known travel personalities both online and in mainstream media, they’ve been featured in multiple U.S., and International media outlets. Dave and Deb have worked as spokespeople and brand ambassadors for such companies as American Express, Abbott, TravelSmith and TripIt.com. They recently won their second consecutive Gold Medal for Best Travel Blog at the Society of American Travel Writers. Having travelled to more than 100 countries on all 7 continent, Dave and Deb have had their share of mishaps and adventures and showcase their experiences through storytelling, video, and award-winning photography."

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