Booyakasha, Jungle is massive
Trip Start Aug 26, 2009
76Trip End Jun 24, 2010
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Manaus was a large if not too interesting town where we launched our trip to the Amazon with the super chatty Gero
That night we went out Caiman spotting (cousins of crocodiles) with torches, we couldn't see a thing but our guide seemed to be able to spot them a mile off. Once we were close he jumped out of the boat and grabbed them so we could take a look, he taught us a little about them and then we all posed for photos with them. The only other danger at night in the river appears to be the monkeyfish that jump out of the water, one gringo got slapped in the face by one.
The next day we went trekking into the jungle to learn about the plant life of the amazon and some jungle survival skills. It is hard to describe all the cool plants and trees we saw, but one of our favourites was a long trunk with no leaves that when you shook it all the branches and leaves came out and it looked a bit like a palm tree. We also got to try eating the grubs ala 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here', to be fair they didn't taste too bad, a bit like nuts and coconut milk, although Jemma wasn't so keen on the texture. We were also treated to some good ol' amazon style rain, how can it be so hot when it is raining?
That night we slept out in hammocks in the middle of the jungle
Next morning, happy that we had survived unscathed, we went to see a local shaman to learn about how village life works for the natives. The best part of seeing him is that he had a pet monkey and a sloth, they are the strangest creatures to hold. It is like holding something made of wood because their skin is so hard and their fur is very bristly, but they make the funniest faces. We asked why the monkey was tied up, apparently he had been naughty and was biting some visitors, in retaliation her mate was ripping up washing on the other side of the house. The shaman was a hilarious guy who told us all about the plants he uses in medicines and how teenagers become of age (by putting their arm into a tree trunk full of fire ants) and as soon as they pass the test they go and get a wife.
Jemma got fully submerged into the culture by letting the shaman paint her in traditional face paint. We then all had to do some dancing and singing just like the locals would, except they would know the words and probably had about ten times as much rhythm as the pack of europeans jerking their way around the dance circle. We also got to taste some of his mangoes straight from the tree. Yum!
This was our last visit and it was soon time to take the boat/bus/boat trip back into Manaus. Our next leg was to fly to Fortaleza and on to Jericoacoara.