Trekking Through The Jungle....Sorta

Our second day here we wanted to go hiking through the jungle. Sounds easy enough, right? Not necessarily, especially when you don’t speak Spanish! But that’s never a barrier to having a great time, so we headed off to see what we could see.

First, we ran into Mario again while walking along the riverfront. We tried to ask him if it was possible to trek along in the jungle. I used the universal signal of making my fingers walk along, he got the idea. From what we gathered he said that you couldn’t walk around Puerto Callao because of the water level, but that you could boat to one village, and walk to the next. It sounded good to us, so we hopped in!

He again spotted animals that I would have never noticed. He’d cut his engine, and turn us back. We’d float in close to the bank with the reeds and lilypads gliding alongside the boat. He’d motion me forward and I’d step out onto the bow with my camera. He would say something in Spanish, and point. I’d look right where he was pointing and see nothing at all. I suppose it didn’t help that I didn’t know what I was looking for! But I’d never be a very good wildlife guide, I don’t think. After more pointing, and usually Drew spotting it first, I’d see the animal, and be just amazed that we saw it from the river! This huge iguana was the most impressive. It blends in so well!!

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They love to give the thumbs up here for photos. 

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As we drove along the banks we saw so many amazing things go by us. Every plant, tree, flower and bird was so exotic and unknown, it was such a experience. 

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 I even managed to spot a couple iguanas on my own! Mario, of course, had seen them as well, but I felt proud that I got better at spotting huge lizards in the Amazon. I mean, life skill right?

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We docked at the village of San Francisco, which is inhabited by the Shipibo people. Again, the young boys were playing in the water. Drew was quite ready to jump in with them!

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The walkway from the riverbank into the village. 

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There were a bunch of stalls set up in a semicircle near the center. Mario took us there to show us the different bracelets, necklaces and textiles that they create. This necklace had a decorated monkey skull on it. It wasn’t quite my style, but man, were we ever in the jungle!

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We were happy to see they had a recycling program! There aren’t many recycle bins around, and lots of water bottles abound, so it was really cool that they had one, and in their own style. 

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At this point, Mario started walking us down this huge, long, dusty road. We started to get the feeling that this was the “trekking” that he had thought we wanted. To our left hand side, as we stood in the baking heat, we saw a small pathway leading into the trees. So we just started walking in. Mario started leading us, and an impromptu exploration of the Amazon began!

He found this flower for us. We ended up seeing a few hanging every once in a while among the trees. How incredible is it??? So gorgeous, and quite fuzzy.

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Ants here are big. 

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So are the bugs. Mario took a stick and started prying loose bark off a tree to look for tarantulas! He didn’t find any (kinda glad about that to be honest!) but he pulled this guy out. Yikes!

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Drew and Mario. 

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This should give you a great sense of scale of the trees here. Once you get into the jungle you are just surrounded by huge amounts of greenery. It helps being here in the rainy season as everything is more lush.

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This little guy was just strolling along, seemingly coming back from fishing. He’s carrying a spear on his shoulders. 

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When were checking out the crafts of the Shipibo I picked up another bracelet for my collection. As you can see in this image, I have a lot of bracelets on my wrist! Every place we travel I get one and leave it on there. At the moment I have ones from Thailand, Vietnam, India, Greece and now Peru! The dark brown one was from the Shipibo, and here is Mario showing us that it is made from the seeds in this huge green pod. Earlier he had picked a couple fresh ones for us, and we ate the white, fuzzy fruit around the seeds! First we ate it, and now we were wearing it. They are so very very resourceful here.  

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This is what the houses in the village looked like. I particularly like this one because of the amazing patterns on it. They design their skirts and textiles with similar geometric patterns and I just adore them!

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One of the kids helping to get our boat off and away. 

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And a couple more shots of life on the river.

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Tomorrow we are heading into the jungle to do some wild stuff. Wild. Can’t wait to share!!! Leave us some comments and say hi! We’re starting to miss home, and are so excited to see Scooter (our lovely cat) in only a week and a half!!

Lots of love,

Lauren & Rob

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