Sunday, January 18, 2009

Amazonian Adventure Pt. 3: Lost! in Mosquitolandia

We ate that fish for breakfast and I thought it tasted like freshwater swimming.
From The Trip, pt. 1: SF to Jungle
Speaking of which, the guide told us we should not actually go swimming in the lake because the electric eels were attracted to noise. He said, the caimans, the snakes, the piranhas they all are afraid of noise but the electric eel, they are attracted to the noise.... ok, no swimming then! Somehow they had found a dead electric eel and we looked at it lying on the shore. One of them had also snagged a tiny caiman at some point so we got to hold it until it tried to make a break for it with a swan dive out of John´s hands. It went free.
From The Trip, pt. 1: SF to Jungle
We packed our bag, left it with Walter´s friend and his boat, then set off on a three hour hike through the jungle. The other guy was going to pick us up at the river on the other side. We hiked and hiked but shockingly the jungle seemed lifeless, except for hordes of ants and mosquitoes. We heard one monkey far off, but there were no monkeys to be seen, which made John very sad. Hopefully we will see a monkey and a sloth at some point while in South America. We saw armadillo tracks and poo, but no armadillo. No other mammals nor birds for that matter either, which was unexpected for a rainforest and certainly disappointing. We did find a termit nest that Walter scratched and then let them swarm over his hand, then he rubbed his hands together, claiming that the woody smell of crushed termit was like a natural insect repellent. John tried it out; I refrained.
From The Trip, pt. 1: SF to Jungle
We also found rainforest fruits, one whose seed you sucked on then spit out, one that tasted kind of like a kumquat, one that contained grubs that the guide tried to get us to eat, claiming they tasted like coconut, but having already just gotten over my first bought of traveler´s diarrhea, I passed. John, who had talked big in the market, also passed. We hiked straight over at least ten leaf cutter ant mounds about three feet high. Despite what Indian Jones and the Legend of the Crystal Skull (or whatever it was called) may have lead you to believe, the ants did not swarm out and devour us in our tracks... At one point, Walter started hacking a vine, cutting away a section, then as he held it up water poured out and we drank it.
From The Trip, pt. 1: SF to Jungle
It reminded me of Armenian birchwater. We saw alot of beautiful flowers and fascinating trees, like the rubber tree that dripped liquid latex and brought so much wealth to Iquitos back in the day. At one point I am fairly certain we went in a circle, which was a little worrisome, but we had faith in Walter and we eventually made it out.
From The Trip, pt. 1: SF to Jungle
We ate some espaghettis on the boat on the river then headed back to the levee then back to the river taxi. We watched a storm roll across the river with lightning and thunder as the boat fought the wind upstream and we eventually reached the town where we caught our first Peruvian bus for the long 2 hour ride back to Iquitos. We just ate some Peruvian Chinese food, which was pretty much exactly like American Chinese food, except that we paid $4 total for more food than we could eat and a liter of beer. Amazing. Tomorrow we will try to catch a boat up the river and out of the rainforest. Another day, another adventure. If we do catch the boat we probably won´t have email for three to five days. I hope inauguration goes well for President Obama!

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