A Travellerspoint blog

Jungle Medicine.

Never again. Again!

Our Guide got each of us up separately very early in the morning so he could wash us down with his plant mixture he had made the day before. It felt very cool in the early morning and I was glad to get it done and over with. The poor girls with their long hair spent quite a bit of time when they finally got up picking leaves out of their hair.

Today we packed up camp and headed back to our Guides home. Just before his house their are a few lodges along the river. Some are used quite a bit, but there was one that was not being used. That was where I would be sleeping for the next week, and also where our group would meet this evening for some more jungle medicine.

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What am I doing? I am sitting here once again with 5 other people to partake in another Ayahuasca ceremony.


Our Guide who I explained earlier is the local Curandero (one who heals with plants). Gave the group a talk in Spanish, with Eduardo doing his best to translate it into English for the rest of us. He then talked to each of us individually before giving us a our Ayahuasca drink.

He then started into his Icaro's (songs). They where a beautifully haunting sound. He started off with a quite type of whistling, then into normal whistling and then into singing, all the while while shaking his bundle of leaves. I had tried to get this on video, but most of it was done in the dark, but I did get the sound.

After sitting up for a couple of hours I finally went to bed. Everyone else had vomited up the foul tasting brew within an hour of drinking it, and where now in their own little worlds.

Five hours latter and diarrhea strikes again. This time I have a genuine toilet in my room. I make sure I bring my tub along with me to the toilet and once I am seated I empty myself out from both ends! This happens 3 more times over the next couple of hours. I am so glad when my body is finally rid of this stuff. Never again...

There is no way this stuff can have any physical medicinal properties. Maybe mental and spiritual, but being that I had a smaller dose I only ended up feeling sick.

YUCK, yeck yick, Blah............. :p

Posted by ScottK 21:27 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Lesson #2

The second most important thing I learned on my little adventure.

Camien for breakfast! The Sweedish girls got their wish. It tastes like rubbery chicken. Pretty good actually.


We once again headed back into the jungle with our Guide because Gerson had to head back to the city and pick up some more customers. No jungle medicine today.

The first most important thing I learned on my little adventure is to be happy with what I have. These people are dirt poor yet they are happy.

The second most important thing I learned is that I can't stand teenage girls! Especially Swedish ones! I had to listen to them sing their drinking songs all the way on our boat trip back to the jungle. Arg!


I latter told my lesson # 2 to a Danish girl on the train to Machu Picchu and she said that the Dane's and Swede's where known not to get along overly well (George, Anna ?) so that explained allot to me!

We never went overly far this time and stayed in the lower jungle. After our Guide and his helpers set up camp, the group went for a walk in the jungle. I just stayed behind and relaxed. They ended up just about stepping on a couple of snakes. One of them was very poisonous.


There was time for swimming afterwards. But I preferred to hide under my mosquito net for most of the day.


Our Guide had taken us on a field trip earlier in the day to pick some plants which he now placed their leaves in a tub full of water. This mixture would be used early next morning for a medicine bath, where he would wash each of us down with the concoction.


I fell asleep to the tune of two Swedish girls singing ABBA songs!

Posted by ScottK 18:33 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Back to civilization.

Such as it is!

We left back for the village today. I think Eduardo is going to miss his hammock.


On the way we stopped at someone else's camp-site and had our breakfast.


We where loaded to the hilt, but made pretty good time, being that we where going down-stream and our guide had brought back a larger motor when he had gone back to his village for supplies.

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Every dugout canoe and boat you see going by is totally unique. They are usually loaded so heavy that one wrong move and they would be submerged. The wood they use to make the canoes does float though.

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When we got back to their house, we hopped into another boat with our Guides family and headed for a 5 minute boat ride to the village where I would spend the night back in a base-camp type lodge.


Gerson came walking up with a mischievous smile on his face and two 19 year old Swedish girls at his side. These girls where on a 3 1/2 month, Central and South American tour, and where now here to spend a couple of days in the jungle.


That night they went out with Gerson and caught a Camien. They where determined to eat a Camien and whatever else they could kill! For some reason (Anna) I have been under the impression that everyone from the European countries where naturalists and wouldn't even think of hurting any wild animals. These girls really wanted to become Amazonians.


Posted by ScottK 17:27 Archived in Peru Comments (0)

Last day in the high jungle.

We went for a 4 1/2 hr. walk in the jungle today to do some hunting and exploring. Never seen any game though, even though we could hear it. We missed seeing some monkey's also. They are quite elusive.

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Our guide seems to be able to differentiate between the hundreds of sounds emanating from the jungle. He showed us the different signs of where the animals have recently been. They have wild chickens, huge Guinea Pigs, Armadillos, and Jaguars amongst other things to hunt.

Did I mention how hot it is here? I was so hot today. I doubt if there are any impurities left in me to sweat out. I told everyone that the first thing I will do when I get home is put on my bathing suit and go and roll in the snow.

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Tomorrow we will be going back to the village. Our guide has talked me into staying another 10 days for intensive jungle medicine and Eduardo another 5 days for his medicine.


Tonight we went for a short trip down the river by canoe in the dark. It was nice and cool, and there were hundreds of fire-flies lighting up the river banks.

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Posted by ScottK 16:12 Archived in Peru Tagged scott knudsen eduardo araya troncoso martir wilder Comments (0)

Working in the Jungle.

We went for a 4 hr. walk in the jungle today. I got a glimpse of a monkey. They generally don't hang around when they hear people coming, and three people can make quite a bit of noise. I think some monkeys may be curious and some more timid than others. They can sure move fast through the tops of the trees.

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There where some workers who stayed at our camp site who where collecting some kind of leaves that is used for roofing on the jungle homes.


They just brought back an axe from the bush that had a huge chunk out of it from cutting some real hard wood. The axe says Dragon on the side, so I am guessing it is made out of cheap Chinese Steel.


These guys would start work at 6:30 am, come back at 11:00 for their first meal of the day, go out again until 5:00 pm and then come back and eat another meal. They didn't even take any water with them, and I was drinking steady just laying around camp.

They got paid only 15 soles ($5.00) per bundles of 1,000 leaves. They could only make 4 bundles a day. per person. I wouldn't even roll out of bed for this amount of money!


These guys would come walking back into camp, covered with sweat, straight backs, with their machetes at their sides and a 9 year old boy walking behind, looking the same way. I was able to get some photos of this boy working with the men. They start handling machetes between the ages of 5 and 6.

They make piles of 100 leaves. Then they stick these stakes in the ground and lay some long vines on the ground between the stakes. They then take these piles of 100 leaves, twist them into narrow small bundles and press them down between the stakes. They do this with 10 piles, so end up having 1000 leaves per finished bundle. They then take the vines that where laying on the ground and tie these bundles tight. The vines also act as slings so they can haul the bundles out on their backs. They are quite heavy and I wasn't about to try to lift them without a massage therapist nearby!

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Our guide also showed us how to tie the knots used in the roofing for making a jungle umbrella.


The 9 year old boy, then showed us how to do it, using 3 different types of knots!


When these guys first showed up at our camp I was kind of disappointed that I wouldn't have any piece and quite, but in the end I was glad I was able to witness them at work and get some good photo's of them.

Posted by ScottK 23:35 Archived in Peru Tagged flores eduardo araya troncoso palla wilder Comments (0)

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