The Adventure Begins.
03.03.2011 34 °C
After finally getting in touch with my guide we travelled by taxi from Iquitos to Nauta to start my jungle adventure. From Nauta it was a 2 hr boat ride to the village of Libertad where I would stay at a base camp for the next 2 nights.
I was introduced to village life which consists mostly of gathering food (fishing, picking fruit) and playing soccer and volleyball in the evenings. The jungle supplies everything they need to survive, so even though they are poor they are generally content.
These people are dirt poor. The only employment that I can see is from working for the tourist lodges, which are owned by people from outside the village. These camps pay the locals very poorly and that is why my guides have started their own business, and work out of their home.
The homes of these people consist of two rooms. One for cooking and eating which is open to the outdoors, and one room for sleeping which is somewhat closed off from the rest of the house. All sleeping is done under mosquito neeting. The stove consists of a large wooden box about one meter off the floor, which is filled with sand. They burn wood on this and have a grill on top. Boiled, fried and roasted banannas along with rice, spaggetti, chicken, eggs, fish, yuka and papaya is the standard diet. They seem to like their food fried. Sound familiar? There are also many jungle fruits that I was shown, but have no idea what they where called.
Eduardo, a 27 year old Chilien had just arrived back from a 5 day stay in the jungle and was going back for 10 more, so I decided to join him for a jungle adventure. We became Jungle Brothers for the next 10 days. Wilder (will-der) was our Guide for this jungle excursion, and was also the local Curendero, which is one that knows all the medicines of the jungle. Natural medicine has always interested me so I figured this would be a perfect match.
I had also briefly met another 4 Chiliens that had come back with Eduardo. All had partaken in a Ayahuasca ceremony the night before and all felt like dying except Eduardo. Don´t sound like too much fun to me.
It´s 12:40 AM so I better call it a day. I´m staying at a hostel in Lima and am off to Cuzco by bus tommorow. I have lots more to come, so stay tuned!