The Amazing Amazon

I don’t think there is any way I can accurately describe the wonder of the Amazon jungle. My 6 days there showed me an ecosystem the likes of which I’ve never seen. Every day we were impressed with new discoveries, culminating in the most epic 24 hours of this journey so far.

I will probably try to write a few posts describing different aspects of this trip, but who knows how many I’ll actually publish. No writing will do it justice.

So for now, here is a rambling synopsis of some of my amazing Amazon adventures.

In the past 6 days, I: felt the temperature difference of the Rio Negro and Rio Amazonas at the Meeting of the Waters; dove into and cooled off in Lago Juma, an offshoot south of the Amazonas; slept on hammocks in a variety of locations, including two nights camping in the jungle; ate the best pineapple I’ve ever had; formed an addiction to Gota Mohlo de Pimenta (their hot sauce); saw pink dolphins swim by during sunrise; learned how to shoot a bow and spear; tasted and smelled trees that contribute to everything from chewing gum to perfume to medicine; climbed an acai tree; swung on a vine like Tarzan; played Amazon-rules dominoes with a mother of 14 while her kids and all types of animals from kittens to ducks ran around us; heard a Brazilian, Frenchman, and Belgian tell Chuck Norris jokes over a campfire; chopped firewood with a machete; pet a tarantula; saw one of the deadliest spiders in the jungle; survived an Amazon wasp sting; caught a piranha and speared a peacock bass, and ate both (the bass was better); spotted caiman (smaller crocodile) eyes and an Amazon river snake in just the light of a headlamp; lived through my worst nightmare floating in pitch black through a spider-infested flooded forest; saw more birds than I could imagine, from prehistoric birds to toucans; saw and heard howler monkeys, night monkeys, and monk saki monkeys; held a crab, a shellfish, a sloth and her baby, and two small caimans; and gazed at the purest sky I’ve ever seen for sunrises, sunsets, and stargazing, complete with Mars, Saturn, the Milky Way, and numerous shooting stars.

I have no doubt that this will end up being one of the most memorable weeks of this experience. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Brazil.

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