Meeting the amazon

3* south

Friday was a full day of travel. Wendy picked me up at noon From my house to The airport, then to, Miami,then Lima, another flight to Iquitos, a bus ride to the boat launch and then 45 minute boat ride up the Amazon to the Ceiba Tops Explorama lodge in the Amazon Rain Forest was a 26 hour trip.

After we unpacked, we took a short walk in the forest to see some of the unusual plants and birds.We were accompanied by a Tapir. We saw tarantula holes, golden orb spiderwebs, mushrooms and the large tree, ceiba, for which the lodge is named.

After dinner people quickly returned to their rooms for a good nights sleep.

At 5:30 AM some of us got out of bed to travel up river and see the Sunday market in the town of Indiana. Our local guide, Paul stopped frequently to explain the medicinal properties of every plant. Termites nests for mosquito repellent, papaya for digestion, a
Combination of several plants to rid the stomach of the parasites that invade the stomach and intestines of people who swim in the river. There were many kinds of fish, the Amazon has over three hundred kinds of catfish. Other meat sources included chicken, venison and Paccar, a huge rodent.
On the ride we looked and saw serval pink dolphins.

After breakfast we traveled by boat to a site of the Yagua Indians. Here we witnessed part of their culture, canoe carving, blow guns, weaving of the leaves for roofs and the local dancing. Mary, I can hear you questioning the authenticity of this adventure. Think of it as the Greenfield Village of the Amazon. It supplies a small income and keeps the culture alive. In the pictures below there is a quiver for the arrows. Piraña teeth are part of the hunting equipment, they are used to sharpen the arrows.
In the afternoon we traveled by boat to an animal rescue farm. The monkeys, sloth and birds were very entertaining but the snakes, anacondas and boas, were terrifying. I wonder what you have to pay an employee to bring a 10 foot anaconda out of its pond space and show it to tourists.

The life of any of the people here is one of subsistence, fishing, farming, a few skinny chickens. If you are lucky you have a job in the lodge, own a water taxi to transport people 50 miles to work, sell produce in Iquitos or own a small motorcycle taxi to transport people to market.

Paul found another plant miracle drug which he claims stabilises your blood sugar and controls diabetes. I have heard many people say the cure for most of the illnesses we have exists in the rain forests…are these cures of the natives myths or is western medicine as resistant to these natural cures as we have been to acupuncture.

After our dinner we were entertained by dancers from Indiana high school. They perform to earn money for school supplies.

The company, 3 couples and Maggie Conger, has been delightful. My only complaint is the heat. I have been dripping wet since we arrived. Good friends of mine will remind me of this next time I am ready to book another adventure tour in the tropics.

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