Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jungle Love

It was a toss - up to use that as the title for this piece with CCR's "Run Through the Jungle" and GNR's "Welcome to the Jungle" as being the other contenders. All three played in my head continuously as the internal soundtrack for this part of the adventure. For me, the Amazon is really the iconic "thing" that I think of being associated with South America. I think it literally dwarfed any expectation that I could have had for the experience starting with the 4 hour canoe (albeit motorized) voyage up the Shiripuno River to the eco lodge where we stayed.

Once there we settled in to the fact that we had basically the entire place to ourselves. And that we were now in the jungle, and not on some luxury boat cruising the Galapagos and would have to adjust some expectations (like hot water for showers and having to do a cockroach sweep before Chloe would go into our room).The next few days were filled with boat rides and treks, where we spotted some of the local residents.

One of the things I liked about our guide Fernando's perspective is that it just wasn't about the animals. He would tell us about trees, plant life, and insects that we would encounter.

We spent the next few days boating and hiking around, and even once in a while we would be surprised with a splash of colour to offset the massive greenness.

For the final night we (well me) got adventurous and took fernando up on the offer of a night trek into the jungle. Aside from my momentary panic at having such a wimpy flashlight, and when we suddenly stepped in the bog of quicksand-like mud that had an iron grip on my boot, and when we saw the snake that Fernando calmly told me was lethal, it was a pretty cool experience.
Here's an idea of what jungle nature sounds like once the sun goes down:

The experience got even cooler when we stopped at a native village the next day and I got to try a real amazon blow darts. But I did have to remind myself to not inhale as I tried to hit the banana

And no - I wasn't the one to hit the banana....

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