Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006
Thanks again for the wonderful
experience up the Rio Nanay. You,
your crew and Amazon 1 made for
a fabulous journey.
Rick and Brenda
Thank you for the photos, and for the
opportunity to spend some time on your
beautiful boat. I wish you, and your great
staff all the best in your endeavor. I'd love to
get back down there and wrestle with some of
those Peacock Bass!
I got the pictures and they're great. Thanks
so much for both the photos and an afternoon
we won't soon forget.
|My wife and I took a four day, three night trip on the Dawn on the
Amazon III in December of 2005. Blanca and I stayed in the beautiful
matrimonial suite. We were very pampered. We had three large freshly
cooked meals a day; our own room; a large queen size bed; a private
bathroom; our room/bath cleaned hotel style every day; all the sodas
and cervezas I wanted. Bill being from the states and Marmelita being
from Peru was perfect for us. I am from Texas and my wife is from
Iquitos. Spanish and English spoken on the boat was another great
comfort for us. We all became good friends in a very short period of
|watching (from the large observation deck), time for visiting in the
small villages (and even playing volleyball!). Each day…. being able to
return to our floating "hotel" (with private showers)….indulging in the
fantastic meals….laughing and singing with the amiable crew….sleeping
in the most comfortable beds in Iquitos….
We found the Dawn Tours to be the best combination ….for providing
the comfort we wanted…..while listening to us…and tailoring our
trip…to satisfy our desires…
Thanks Bill and Marmelita for an unforgettable experience!!!
-Doug and Tom
|We left in the morning and headed
east to Leticia for about a day and
half, then went up a "coche" (lagoon)
for a more intimate view of the forest
for a day. We saw many birds,
dolphins, and great Amazon river
scenes. Our unique view was a young
deer swimming, trying to cross the
coche. On our way back we stopped at
Pevas and visited the surrealistic,
Francisco Grippa art museum/gallery.
|I have been to Peru eight times now, and will be returning frequently,
my wife being from Iquitos. I have been to a few beautiful places in
Peru and around the world. If you are looking for a personal, tranquil,
yet exotic trip, this is it. It was one of my most favorite trips I have
ever taken. Next time I want to go west to a "yanuyacu coche" (black
water lagoon) and fish for tucanare (Peacock Bass) on the smaller Dawn
on the Amazon I.
See ya on the Amazon,
Austin, TX, USA
|Hi Bill, thanks so much for the pics,
they are great. We have sent a couple
your way that we met while hiking the
Inca trail. Tim and Katrell should have
arrived yesterday hoping they can take
a trip like ours. We have told as many
people as we see the great experience
we had on your wooden boat, and to
be honest it was one of the top
highlights of our journey. We wished it
|was a bit longer 10-14 days, oh well, next time. Thanks again for
everything, would love to see more pics and we will try and send more
clients your way at every opportunity. We did tell Tim and Kattrell that
the fish stew was the best food we ate in Peru, so they may request
that one nite.
|Bill, Thanks for the photos they were
great! It seems an age ago that we
were on your boat having the time of
our lives, now we are back to work
and coping with all the associated
hassles. I hope your business is
going well. We still talk about you,
your crew, and your boat…and that
delicious fish stew.
|We only had five days left in Iquitos….and we wanted to get out of
town….Fortunately we made acquaintance with Bill and Marmelita….who
own and operate Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises. They offered
us many options…of which we chose a visit to the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo
Reserve, a few hours up the Amazon…and heading south.
|Our delight began as soon as we
stepped onboard their mother
ship…Dawn on the Amazon III. The
boat itself…is a work of art….like
being in a museum….full of sculpture
and fine craftsmanship. With the
casual atmosphere and comfortable
accommodations…we found our time,
on and off the boat, equally exciting….
We were provided with everything we
were looking for…..great jungle hiking
(tailored to our desires), fantastic bird
|Helen Hazelman, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Having been in Iquitos for 8 days, we had a day to spare. We were told
about an island in the middle of the Amazon that was inhabited by an
enormous amount of monkeys. We were intrigued. We spoke to "Mad
Mick" who recommended we travel to the island on Bill Grimes's boat
"Dawn On The Amazon". We contacted Bill and the next day we set off
at 9am from "The Yellow Rose of Texas". Having arrived in Bella Vista,
Nanay by mototaxi we boarded what can only be described as a floating
masterpiece. We then set off down the Amazon on a 2 hour journey to
As soon as we arrived, the monkeys seemed to appear out of nowhere,
obviously drawn to the bunches of bananas we were carrying.This 200
hectare island is not only inhabited by 9 species of monkeys but 10
families, all of whom devote their lives to caring for these primates. Bill
was even surpised to see a species that even he didn’t recognize. This
large monkey had long ginger hair,a bright red face and a stumpy tail.
This particular monkey went by the name of "Ingles".
We then walked into the jungle accompanied by a troop of monkeys
who seemed to know which way to go, whilst other monkeys screeched
and howled in the canopy.The people who protect these monkeys have
planted a variety of fruit trees such as starfruit, banana, pineapple,
cocona and guava, to ensure the monkey’s staple diet is maintained.
We returned to the dock and then made voluntary contributions to the
monkey sanctuary.We boarded our boat for the 2 hr trip back up river to
Bella Vista, exhausted but totally exhillerated from our day on Monkey
Island. If you would like to meet these monkeys,and have a wonderful
day on the Amazon that you’ll never forget..please contact Bill Grimes.
We recommend you take an insect repellant and rubber boots for your
|Hi Bill & Gabriela,
I am happy to be home with the kids. Bill,
I travel all over the world and very rarely
have a chance to meet someone who
makes the place better and more
memorable than you did in Iquitos. I hope
we cross paths again. I will work on my
fishing buddies. I will stay in touch……
We can never thank you enough for
providing us with such an excellent
experience. We truly enjoyed our time
with you, Marmelita, and Gaby and will
be recommending your tours to
friends. We'd also like to thank you for
these pictures and are ready for more.
Hope you are all doing well.
Here I am at last! First of all I would like to thank you very much for all
the lovely pictures you have sent! I really enjoy looking at them and
they bring back great memories - and funny ones too!!!
Enclosed are a few others that I hope you will like. Needless to say
that we have enjoyed Lima very much! The proof is in the pictures as
you will see (especially the one entitled: Great life in Lima!!!). But I
must say that even though Lima is a pretty city with a lot to offer, I
still have enjoyed Iquitos more. It was like a new world and the people
were just fantastic!
I also want to thank you again very much for having been so kind in all
the help you have provided during the cruise day! You were truly
exceptional and I had a wonderful day thanks to you!
I hope that you are well and that you are enjoying your boats! I feel
lucky that I had the opportunity to experience Iquitos and to meet
great people like yourself and your crew and to quote your words,
"good things happened to me also in Peru".
Take good care of yourself, give my regards to everyone and I hope to
hear from you from time to time...
Jocelyn says hello!
With very best wishes,
|Bill--Thanks so much for the photos--no, I didn't get them the first
time, but they are great. You were a real "Find". Thanks for making
our start on our adventure so much fun. Jil
|Best regards, Alberto, Matias and family.
|Dear Bill and Marmelita,
Please accept my apologies for the
delayed response. Thanks so much
for the pictures you sent, they are
really great. We really enjoyed our
short but amazing time we spent
with Marmelita and the Dawn on
the Amazon crew. Thank you for
your kind words about us, I know I
am very lucky to have such a lovely
|wife. If you are ever in the Atlanta or Washington, DC area, please drop
us a line.
Jay and Reena
|Dear Bill and Marmelita:
Everyday enjoying your photos,and
remembering the warmth of you
people in Iquitos. It doesn't matter
when, but please consider that if you
ever come to Chile,do contact us. Of
course we would love to come back
to Iquitos some day too. But
whatever comes first, it was very
nice meeting you both and hope to
see you again.
|Rick and Brenda
|As a female traveler, two of my
biggest concerns are safety and
comfort. Dawn on The Amazon
provided plenty of each. Bill is a
great host who gives guests his
personal attention. This was one of
the best trips of my life.
Dr. Marie Mater
|Marie and Marmelita
|There was so much this trip had to
offer--great fishing, beautiful scenery
and a food lover's paradise. Bill
showed us great adventure, took care
of us personally and customized the
trip to our interests. The trip exceeded
our expectations. We can't wait to
Dr. Joseph Sommerville
|laughs over and over. Fellow travelers sometimes looked askance at us
as we talked and laughed. They would most likely be envious of our
Phyllis has remarked that I am smiling in all the pictures. She said it is
obvious that I had a great time in Peru. I spent 10 good years as
superintendent of schools in Peru, Indiana. Doesn't it follow that I
should also have good experiences in Peru, South America? It was
really special for David and me to be able to visit with our "relocated
Hoosier neighbor" and share new experiences with a "friend from the
past." You and Marmelita are gracious hosts. I miss you both.
I continue to digress and daydream. Phyllis and I have spent an
inordinate amount of time looking at the photos you sent and printing
many of them for inclusion in scrapbooks.
Until later, thanks again for a great adventure.
Well, I'm suffering withdrawal
pains. I miss Iquitos and my
Peruvian friends. How can one be
homesick for a land so far away?
I really want to let you know how
much all of us enjoyed the entire
experience. In the airports on the
way home we talked about certain
events and shared smiles and
|experience it was for all of us. You said you would treat us like family
and "by golly" that's exactly what you did! You and Marmelita are a
great team. And you have put together a staff that anyone would love.
It was a "moment in paradise" vacation that I will never forget. It's
impossible to say what were the high points.....every day was a
pleasure and every detail was considered to maximize our enjoyment
and comfort. However if I had to pick one it would probably be the
second night on the river; docked and sitting up on the top deck with
dusk approaching and jungle sounds all around; with a cold drink in
hand and delicious smells drifting up from the galley; and with the
sense that we were sharing a glimpse of nature we might never know
You must know that you have succeeded grandly when your visitors
walk away feeling more like friends than clients. You have my heartfelt
|Thanks for the news regarding the efforts to help Alberto rebuild. The
small amount we left with Marmelita for this purpose was but a token
compared to the generosity of yourself and others. We hope that the
project will be completed soon.
We want to say thanks again to you and Marmelita and to all those
working for you for the hospitality and consideration showed to us. It
was an experience unmatched in my travels. Coincidentally, I saw a
brief interview on TV today of the man who heads up the Loews Hotel
group. He was asked what was the key to success in creating goodwill
and continued customer loyalty. His answer made me immediately
think of you and our feelings toward you and the Dawn on the Amazon
group. His reply was that you must make people feel as though they
are being recognized and treated as the individuals they are -- that is,
tailor your services to their specific needs and desires, letting them
know that they are special.
Please pass on to Marmelita and all the others our appreciation for all
they did to give us such a wonderful experience and memories we'll
treasure for the rest of our lives.
Jerry and Connie
|Dear Bill and Marmelita:
Our flights were on time with
smooth flying. It was a bit of a
long stretch in Lima but we were
all so relaxed from our lazy days
on the river that we fared well.
Everyone is home now. (and I'm
sure washing clothes like me.) I
can never find the right way to
tell you what a wonderful
We have received several of your
emails with photo attachments...In
addition to being a botanist,
ornithologist, seaman, etc., you're
also a very skilled photographer.
The photos are great, and as the
memory of the actual events fades
they will become even more
special to us.
|Hi Bill and Marmelita,
I want to thank you for all of the
pictures and the wonderful time
we had on the Amazon. You and
your crew really did an excellent
job watching out for us gringos.
This trip turned out to be even
greater than I had
anticipated-thanks to you and
your crew. Tell everyone I said
hello and I wish everyone the
very best. John
Sorry it has taken so long to call
and thank you again for our
memorable trip together ...I was
lagged for over a week following
the 16 hour journey home...but
then...I am getting old, after all...
I've just finished writing a story
|about my month in Peru for the
Thomas Cook newsletter
...distributed to a bunch of ex TC
managers called the 1841 Club
(when TC started) to which I feed
stories of my travels...and of course
it will include a repro of your
gorgeous boat (cannot think of
another name for your eagle
'figurehead' though sure there is one)
|as well as the unlikely story of David taking sonar soundings of
dolphins...!!...a truth so much stranger than fiction....It finishes with an
unanswerable question...'will I ever get back?'...well I certainly hope
so...perhaps next winter..who knows? ..certainly if I'm fit and able I will
Warm regards to Marmelita and your splendid crew...and thanks for
another million memories you acquired for me...Eric
Thanks for sending the photos. We
arrived home tired, but safe, yesterday
afternoon. All went well on the trip
home. We both slept some on the
flights. Thanks for the excellent
hospitality. You and Marmelita and all
your crew made us feel welcome once
again. We enjoyed our time with you
and look forward to making the journey
again. We will probably try to come in
|August or September the next time. I don't think it will be in 2007.
Hopefully we can do it in 2008.
I wanted to express all my thanks
to you for your so important
invitation to this unforgettable trip.
Really I enjoyed each day with you,
Marmelita, your crew, and your other
passengers. Many thanks to
contribute to my relaxation and to
know more about my jungle. I
Your friend, Norma Rosa
|Iquitos: The Amazona, the river, the
jungle, a totally other world
experience. It was Good Friday and
that night many people with candles
joined the religious procession.
Saturday morning found us exploring
the market in Belen with Bill Grimes
(owner of Dawn). Miles of market,
including a meat packing room full of
caiman, giant turtle and huge catfish.
|Having come down with a cold, Marlene bought a bottle of natural
medicine, 75% sugar cane rum!! Best cure she ever tasted.
Dawn on the Amazon: By noon we were aboard this beautiful boat.
Can sleep 12 but we were the only passengers. Had 8 crew to take care
of us plus Bill. Paradiso! Traveled 250K up the Nanay River, tributary to
the Amazon, passing through and beyond Allpahuayo Mishana National
Reserve. Golden orchids, bromeliads, thorned palms, blooming trees,
Titi monkeys and the birds (so many species), huge blue Morpho
butterflies and this was above the water.
Tomas successfully explored below the water for Peacock Bass and
Piranha, landing several of the beautiful and very feisty bass and a
couple of piranha. Alberto cleaned the head of one 3# piranha and gave
the skeleton to Tom, having eaten the rest for lunch. No one had seen a
fly-rod fisherman in those waters CATCHING anything. Then there was
always the excitement of the pink river dolphins and small skiff
excursions into little streams, machete hacking a way thru to secluded
cochas (lakes). (Am NOT kidding you!).
Visited two tiny villages and one larger one. Kids and adults marveled
at Tom's magic act. Kids very shy. On board, food was outstanding but
way tooooo much of it. Ate delicious fish cooked in leaves, caiman,
huge river snails and Majas Paca (a small animal with fawn-like spots,
rodent family). Yum! All drank champagne, danced and sang at a party
one night. We tried to imagine the life of the people on the rafts and
dugouts floating down stream with loads of palm weavings and logs.
Our weather could not have been more perfect - mid-70's in the morning
warming to mid-80's by afternoon. Occasional rain showers to cool
things off. And no mosquitos.
It's impossible to convey the beauty and tranquility of the Amazonia.
Tomas was up on deck early every morning, drinking rich coffee and
greeting dawn on the Amazon. What an experience watching the
shadows grow and the reflections of the trees and jungle come alive on
the water! The sound of the bird calls - no airplanes, no trash trucks, no
leaf blowers, just restful peaceful sounds. Loved the reflections on the
water mirroring the surrounding jungle. The reflections were so strong
that sometimes when Tomas was fishing along the bank he had a touch
of vertigo as it became difficult to determine what was real and what
was a reflection. New experiences, new places, new friends, new
feelings - all the more reason to travel.
Stay in touch, stay healthy and happy. Big Hugs and Love, Tomas and
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Dawn on the Amazon, 2005. All rights reserved.
|Jack and Blanca on Dawn III
|Jacquie on Dawn I
|Tim and Katrel on Dawn I
|Dinner on Dawn III
|Carlos, Maribel, Rachel, and Niel
|Bryan on Dawn III
|Ed on Dawn III
|Mike Reaves on Dawn I
|Jill and Laurie at the butterfly farm
|Jay and Reena on Dawn I
|Alberto and Matias
|Larry sharing a laugh over breakfast
|Margaret on the observation Deck of Dawn III
|Jerry and Connie
|John at the Bora village
|Eagle figurehead on Dawn III
|Eric on Dawn III
|Larry on Dawn III
|Norma on Dawn III
|Tomas and Marlene