Amazonas - 3 days in the Jungle with Juan!


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Published: June 22nd 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

After 3 days in the pampas with Kikay, we were brought back to Rurre via boat and jeep. We met with Luis (our trip coordinator) who was kind enough to book and pay for a hostel nearby for the 3 of us, it had a private shower (so totally needed... we were covered in bugspray and sunlotion). We were also given a free drink at "Monkeys Bar" from Luis, so we enjoyed a "Caprihana"... a lime drink with lots of vodka. The next morning we were to be ready to head to the jungle via a 3 hour boat along the amazon river... so beautiful (even though it was raining that day). Our camp was slightly wet upon arrival (only to become a swamp lake with more rain later on), but we helped carry in the load of food, water and supplies while balancing on tiny flippin wet beams over murky water haha. The camp was definetly less modern then the pampas, where the huts were literally just a handmade peice of wood... the pampas had more solidly built ones with floating decks (ie in case of rain or an increase in river height), and even a bar with hammocks and a dead armadillo... Never the less, being immersed was amazing, the sounds of the jungle are exactly what you think you'd hear - birds, monkeys, chanchos (boars). We only walked the 3 days, Juan loved his job just walking all day everyday hunting for animals to spot carrying his huge machetee. We were eaten alive, but our sunburns from the pampas healed. Our night walk included the nest or casa of the Tarantulas, my picture of it didn´t turn out. They basically live in the most enourmous trees in the jungle ( around up to 3m id say thick and covered in their webs). We found a momma tarantula and two of her babies within arms reach - so so creepy! Juan had been "working" in the jungle for 15 years... he could identify sounds and the direction from which they were coming from. A few times hed pickup a leaf we nearly stepped on and hed reveal a frog or an enormous (the size of a softball) snail. He called the pigs - which were really somewhat like wild viscous boars, one group nearly wwas trampled by 300 of them at night and another 100 the next day! We followed the sound of a capochino monkey for a couple kms and that was crazy fantastic, Juan actually found it!! From a distance (of course) I saw it drop from the tree branch and run off. We had chased an "Aradilla" which we never found out what that was. I have a video of him pointing a red animal and still cant see anything! Oh well. We saw "Bambi" or a beautiful dear within a couple meters, heard "chanchos" or pigs eating hard shelled nuts, we heard a toucan - but after following the sound for an hour or so it flew off to never be seen. (sooo disappointing!) We saw the casas de armadillos, and were introduced to a whole new relm of natural medicines. One trees bark smelt like cucumber - meant for the sickness of puking, diarrhea - another smelt of "ajo" or garlic for your "estomago" or stomach. Juan only speaked spanish... me and siri did quite well diciphering with the couple weeks of spanish we had! He showed us two types of plants, one an anesthetic and the other (with a little water added) turns into a red pasty liquid. The red substance was used by the indians as face paint, which juan felt the need to decorate my whole face with. The anesthetic was so fun - you grind it between your teeth and get the craziest feeling on your tongue and cheeks, sort of like pop rocks but stingy and more numbing. Another branch (if youve seen Predator with Arnold Swartzanegar all of these things are visual) Juan cut in two and water began pouring out. Me and Siri enjoyed fresh sweet wood tasting water... better than it sounds when your thirsty. One of our last stops was finding a ·"Tarzan branch" where I was able to swing ... like Tarzan... but not tree to tree, thatd be asking to much.
The one morning that the grounds were so intensly flooded and walking was not possible, juan pulled out the 20 coca nuts we collected in the jungle. Inside is coconut with a hard black shell. You´ve probably seen the rings and earrings made of the black coconut shell... anyway we spents loads of hours making rings, necklaces and earrings. It was mas difficile and my hands were pretty roughed up, you had to saaw them perfectly (yes my clumsy fingers are still intact!!), then sand them 3 different times with different sandpaper to elleviate big, med and small scratchs. After burning some egg cartons, we threw ash into our hands and pollished them... so worth the work (Yes im bringing some nuts home- craft day?).
Vanessa unfortunately left the 2nd day and bused to La Paz on a 23 hour bus on the "Worlds most dangerous road". Me and Sri returned to Rurre after the end of the 3 days and explored the town and ate the best god damn fish of our entire lives at Julianos. 50 bs, or $7... for an enormous peice of catfish with no bone or skin. Mine had portobello sauce... the only good food we´ve had - I have to brag. Fly there and have it.

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