A week in the Amazon will stay with me for a lifetime.
It started right away when we were joined by three friends from “home”. Sharing our adventures, enjoying the banter and experiencing new things together was fun. This particular trip was best suited for a group of friends and we are so happy that they joined us. It was a great time. Thanks guys!
Our journey to the jungle began in Iquitos, Peru, a city that cannot be reached by road. After a night in a dorm (with one other poor resident) we took rickshaws, buses and boats 350 kms up the Ucayali river to Tapiche Reserve*. A privately owned 1,540 hectare rainforest reserve close to the Brazilian and Columbia borders, and well off the tourist track.
Once there, every day began early with the chorus of the howler monkeys and a breakfast of warm porridge and tea. We’d go out on the river and into the forest or to the lagoons to enjoy the strange non-silent quiet of birds and monkeys living out their lives around us. Each day we’d drift or hike, hoping for a glance of a howler monkey, a toucan, a spider monkey or maybe a giant otter. Each day our guide would skilfully point out the calls, the faces in trees, the footprints of the animals and we’d be moved to smiles, laughter and amazement. The evenings were short but filled with homely food, the sound of the jungle and hazy sleep slept in slowly rocking hammocks.
Despite the heat, the bugs and the long days, seeing nature as it should be, oblivious to us, just living was wonderful. Watching our guide navigate a path through the jungle with a machete and a eye on the light. Admiring massive rubber trees towering above us. Eating a local snack as we drifted amongst mangroves. Showering in cooling river water. Eating fruit and fish harvested within an arm’s reach. Looking down to see caiman and glowworms floating in the river. Each moment unique.
My favourite time was at dust (before the mosquitos woke up) drifting on the river, surrounded by water, by trees, by leaves, by flickering light and the sound of nature. Macaws and toucans overhead. Totally breath taking and memory making.
Sadly we saw no sloths. Thankfully, this means we get to go back to the forest one day to find them.
* For more information on Tapiche Reserve see my review.