Many of the local people had once been hunters, regaling us with stories of their fearsome face-to-face encounters with the Jaguar.
A spotlight burst into life, momentarily panning across the far bank, before returning us to darkness. Adolfo slipped the blade of his hand carved hardwood paddle into molasses coloured water, adjusting the course of our dugout canoe with precision developed over a lifetime plying these waters.
Have you ever heard of the 'Big 5'? Supposedly the five African animals most difficult and dangerous to hunt on foot. Unfortunately, it's more a marketing term aimed at tourists than anything else.
Traveling from the UK to our research camp in the Peruvian Amazon last year took four long days. By far the most enchanting part of the expedition was journeying from the bustling jungle city of Iquitos up into the Amazon's smaller headwaters..
Expeditions are about developing an understanding of the environment around you, and frequently - although it might not have been an intended outcome - an understanding of yourself..
We visited the Amazon in the dry season. Every day the water levels in the lakes and rivers would drop several inches, as daytime temperatures soared to the high thirties..
Without the help and support of local field guides, our work in the Amazon simply could not have happened. This is Adolfo, aged 64, he comes from a village on the edge of the Pacaya-Samiria reserve..