Sunday, January 18, 2009

Amazonian Adventure Pt. 1: Heart of Darkness

Friday we took a motorcycle taxi to a taxi to another mototaxi to a river taxi down the Amazon, then walked over a levee to another river, then took a motorized canoe and five hours later from when we started we finally arrived at our Jungle Lodge. Our guide made us lunch and set up our bungalow, then we set out on a canoe trip up the river to see some wildlife. We saw many brightly colored birds, a few bats waiting out the daylight on a tree trunk, and a few shy pink river dolphins. Our guide took us far up river and as dusk set in I started to think about the Heart of Darkness. We actually got out at one point and hiked behind our guide Walter as he macheted his way through the jungle but water dead ended us fairly quickly. The horror movie side of my imagination got the better of me for a second, but Walter seemed not like a machete murderer and I stopped thinking about it. We got back in the boat as dark set in, then Walter focused on finding caimans, another name for tiny little alligator, but after searching every bit of underbrush while he paddled with his flashlight in his mouth he never saw the telltale reflection of their eyes. Feeling the tug of the canoe paddling down the river surrounded by the noises of the Amazonian jungle in the pitch black dark was a pretty amazing experience. I lost my frame of reference as the stars reflected in the water and drowning lightning bugs outshone the stars. I expected the stars to be different down here and was surprised to see Orion as the most prominent constellation in the sky. I need to remember to see if the Coriollis Effect applies or not. John says the force is too weak, plus I don´t remember which way water went down the drain in the northern hemisphere... After alot of paddling we finally we made it back to the lodge. Caiman or no caiman, it was a good first day in the jungle.

From The Trip, pt. 1: SF to Jungle

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