Published: September 28th 2008September 24th 2008
hiking to the shanincas
Carrying on from part one, we made it back to the village and stopped to mop up sweat and down bottles of water!! Then it was back to the boats to go back upriver, we found a beach to stop and have lunch on (more peanut butter yum!!) and then we went swimming, it felt so good!!! We were extra careful not to pee in the river, just in case there were any of those fish who try to get in your bladder....
Back in the boats again and we stopped further upriver to visit a real peruvian jungle tribe, friends of Panchos. We hiked through large forests of banana trees and marshy patches, where I found my boots are indeed waterproof again. We stopped beside a patch of red berries that resembled strawberries, Pancho broke one open and showed us the red berries inside. He said we had to use them to paint our faces or we wouldn't be welcomed by the tribe. So we got creative!! We had a feeling Pancho was having us on for a while, especially as we walked on past a road with a coach parked on it, so much for deep in the
middle of nowhere!! There was a group of teenagers playing football beside it, staring and laughing at us with their modern clothes and clean faces!!! But then as we walked past them we met one of the jungle wives. She was a tiny woman possibly 4 foot tall at most wearing a brown tunic, barefoot wearing bracelets on her arms anda piercing through her septum. She had a red painted face with a blue stripe across it, and spoke spanish.
We followed her to her home, where we met the chiefr of the Shaninca tribe. His name was Chief Barbossa and was about 78 years old. He had eight wives (the eldest had died); the second oldest (50) and the youngest (27) lived with him, and between all his wives he had around 48 children!! The rest of his wives and most of his children live further and deeper into the jungle, and the tribe numbers around 2,000 people. He told us how the Shanincas weren't considered Peruvian citizens for years until the Government needed their votes. The tribe held out until they were given a school, and they now have national identity cards. Then the Chief played his
they sang and told us their history
fluteand walked around while his wives followed him singing. It was really cool and something completely different!!
As we walked back to the boats, we asked Pancho how he had met the Shanincas. He said he was looking to improve the jungle trip and had asked around for directions. He set out himself to meet Chief Barbossa and struck up a deal with him!!
We returned to Sivia for a lovely trickly cold shower before dinner. Dinner for me was omelette and rice, tortilla meaning omelette here. We braved the local discotheque which was interesting, we were the only ones dancing for the most part! We went back to the hostel to watch the huge rain and lightning storm that night.
Sunday was another long travel day broken up by stopping at a set of waterfalls for swimming. Pancho had some Guava fruit for us to try, very refreshing!!
Ayacucho now seems like a compete luxury in comparison!!
There are more photos below