Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hiking the Amazon Jungle

I spent this past weekend hiking the Amazon jungle. Obviously, not all of it, but for 3 days, I did quite a bit. Well, I say "hiking", but there was climbing, zip lining, hiking, riding in boats, and more. 

The pictures are so many that i cannot share it all with you, but I will show you a few. I walked soooo much over the course of 3 days! It was such a great workout and such a lovely time communing with nature. There is so much green down there that I can't even start to explain.

We arrived at night and started with this dinner. To be honest, food was not super exotic down there, but there was a lot of fish, which I love. There is this local fish called pirarucu, which I just had to get. Grilled fish, potatoes, rice, and a salad for dinner.

The next day, we started with a boat ride along the Amazon river from a town called Leticia in Colombia, and ended up on 4 islands. One of them had parrots and a lot of water creatures, one had indigenous tribes making local crafts, one is Puerto NariƱo (a completely 'green' town), and the last had monkeys. We stopped to see some of the water creatures.

The island with the monkeys is called Isla de los micos (literally, monkey island). It was one of my favorite times down here as you can feed the monkeys.

We did some more walking and boat tours that day, but I won't bore you with the hiking details. On to day 2! I had my wellingtons ready :)

On day 2, we pretty much started with hiking again, but this time deep into the heart of the jungle where the indigenous tribes live. We hiked for a really long time into the thick of the green. It felt so fresh and so isolated from the world. I really liked just being there. Well, besides the time our guide (who is of a local tribe himself) told us he just saw some tiger prints but we shouldn't worry. Hmmm... 

He did introduce several wild plants and insects, but I was fond of one in particular. It's called the African Kiss. So naturally...

After walking, we got to where this tribe is, and spent some time chatting with the elder. He looked like some mafia don to me though, so it was fun to just sit around him in a circle. He told us all about the coca (from whence commeth cocaine) and tobacco plants, and how they locally turn them into powder and ingest them. And then he did the inevitable, he offered us some coca in powdered form. They pretty much eat it natural without all the chemicals, and it is said to give them energy before long hikes. I helped to pound it a bit :)

Next, he offered to blow some powdered tobacco up our noses. My friend did this and apparently, it clears up the nostrils like nobody's business. He had had sinus problems for a while and they were gone that day.

Okay, so we then found a nearby lake and just had some fun jumping around. 

We spent the rest of the day climbing a tree and zip lining. I don't have a great picture, but you get the idea. The view was amazing from up there.

On day 3, we decided to go over to Brazil and Peru to just take a quick tour on land of the towns on the Amazon river on that side. We ended up in Tabatinga, Brazil for the first part of the day just doing a lot of walking. I just had to take a couple of photos there.

Here, I'm standing in Brazil, across the river behind me is Peru, and down the river to my left is Colombia. Literally, the border of 3 countries.

The second part of the day saw up taking a boat to Santa Rosa, Peru. It is a very small town, and doesn't have much to do besides walk. So obviously, we did that and then had some cebiche.

After all that, I was ready to head home. Did I mention that in all this time, the mosquitoes were tearing up my skin? Well, they were teaching me who's boss. Even with alllllll the mosquito spray, they found spots to perch. I will survive though.

This was a very physical, but yet very rewarding experience. It makes you realize how small you are and how grand and complex nature is, and it definitely inspired me. Let me just end with one of my favorite pictures from the trip. I took this from the boat while we were on the Amazon River. Amazing.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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