Day 0: November 19, 2008.. I can still feel the excitement. I was traveling out of India for the first time ever and Brazil.. I mean "BRAZIL" was like a dream come true.. all the travel arrangements were done and bookings sorted.. My husband and me landed at Sau Paulo and took a connecting flight to Manaus the next morning.. I looked out of the flight window.. I could only see shades of green, blue, white and brown.. We were flying over the Amazon, the world's longest river.. and the dense canopy of tress on either side, made me want to take a parachute and plunge straight down:)
From Manaus airport it was a 30 minute boat ride to the Amazon Jungle Lodge.. and there we were.. right in the middle of the world's largest rainforest.. .
Day 1: We trekked for about half an hour into the Amazon.. our destination.. a little clearing where we would meet the traditional inhabitants of the Amazon.. "the Red Indians".. Wow!!! Immediately I had some hindi movie scenes depicting "adivasis" flash through my mind:)
We could hardly interact with the Red Indians- Thanks to language issues.. they performed a dance for
us and we visited one of their homes.. all through.. I kept drawing parallels between what I was seeing at that point and what I imagined!!! We met the leader of the the Red Indians.. He was not as intimidating as I had thought.. he was a nice sweet man who very readily posed for photographs:) En-route our guide showed us the different trees of the Amazon.. Came across the interesting "tree of life" which is apparently the only tree in the world whose leaves bear roots and hence the name..
This visit was followed by a visit to the monkey jungle, Piranha fishing and alligator spotting.. but my mind kept going back to the red Indians, their simple dwellings and ways of life.. its hard to believe that while a large part of the world is chasing stock markets, lifestye food, shoes and clothing.. another fraction does not even know what clothing is!!!!
PS: I thank-God we did not catch any Piranha fish or encounter any alligators.. both would have proved to be quite dangerous as Piranha's apparently eat humans alive!!
Day 2: It was a BIG day!!! we were taken by boat to this point
called meeting of the waters.. The Amazon river has two tributaries- River Nigo and River Solomon. River Solomn has brownish white water, while river Nigro has blakish water. The Amazon is formed when these two rivers meet and the place where these 2 waters (black and white) meet is called "meeting of the waters".. On the boat we met people from various nationalities.. each one more amazed than the other.. with my Mehendi.. referring to it as "tatoo" asking my husband if they could take pictures of it:):)
We finally reached the "meeting of the waters".. Black water met white water.. and formed the Amazon!! There was a frenzy among everyone on the boat.. each one wanted to click a picture of the water asif it was going to evaporate any second:):)
Water seen, pictures taken! Next- Time to get up close and personal with... the ANACONDA!! I was a little nervous.. but felt miserable when I saw the plight of the poor snake.. wrapped around the neck of a little child.. we could catch or pose with the Anaconda if we wanted to.. And as the child proudly wrapped his hand around the snakes mouth.. we were
told that the anaconda is actually a man-eater.. "A MAN EATER?!?" what on earth was a child doing with a man eating snake around its neck? PETA or Human rights activists anyone??
Next we were taken to a fish tank.. rather a large concrete pond containing different types of fish found in the Amazon.. and while the fish swam around.. the favorite topic of discussion was.. which fish would be served for lunch and how would it taste!!!
Day 3: Today we were to trek into the forest and understand various ecosystems that operate there.. We saw the camphor tree and came across an ant nest. The red indians apply the mud from the nest on their bodies while going hunting. This mud de-odourizes the body and its easier for them to catch animals then.. We also saw the "sloth".. the laziest animal in the world.. it hangs around trees for days... Giant Lily Pads, alligators and parrots.. a beautiful day with beautiful experiences.. I closed my eyes.. reflected on the day gone by and captured the moments in my mind.. forever:)
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