Monday, July 31, 2006

The Green Sea of the Amazon

The Green Sea of the Amazon

The Green Sea of the Amazon [Chapter One: The Canopy]

Advance: Most of my stories or books have been mixed with characters and sunken into the imaginary (non-fiction that is into historical fiction). This one hasn’t. This writer has attempted to write absolutely a true story to see if it can match, or present, or compete with the work of the imagination. 1

The Canopy

We were standing 119-feet high up on a canopy that scientist had built of rope and boards, tied to towering jungle trees, and then I heard my guide below, talking to two visitors. It was too far away, I could not tell what was being said. Then the talking stopped, and I told my wife Rosa, ‘I hope he doesn’t’ leave without us, it gets dark here early…’ The canopy moved, swayed a bit to the right and left as we scaled its thin walkway here and there, up and down, it was at this time the longest one built in the world. I then motioned down to our guide, who had lived in this part of the jungle all his life, so he told us, and so it seemed. He was perhaps in his early forties, I, perhaps was ten years older than he. He was build broad, robust, and a likeable kind of fella; assured, or self-confident in himself, and his knowledge of the jungle.

“Anytime!” he said, Avelino yelled up to us, he meant that it was up to me when we went back to our lodge in the thick of the Amazon jungle. It was to be an hour and a half walk back, the same it took to get there. And I knew a good portion of that walk would most likely end up being at dusk, or in the twilight of the evening. And much more, should we not get moving. I liked Avelino; he had spent forty-years and then some, in this part of the Amazon, about 125-miles from Iquitos, Peru. I got only an hour or so to spend in Iquitos, not much time, i hoped to get more on the way ack; stopped in an old bar, from the days of the booming rubber plantations, when money was plentiful, and had a coke, talked to the barkeeper. Then we visited the Iron House, architecture by Mr. Eiffel himself, who created on paper the famous Eiffel Tower, in Paris, for he Worlds Fair, back in the 1880s.

“Wait a minute,” I told Rosa, I wanted to make sure I walked the whole canopy (she smiled, as usual, and followed me); every inch of it, ever corner and by every tree that it was tied to, I walked to it, by it, around it, not sure why, perhaps to say I did it, like a mountain climber: I wanted to say, I climbed to the top; and now we had to go down—and so I rushed that process up (but without a doubt, I had climbed to the top of the Jungle, looked over its roof, and say its sea of green, which was more like a dream).

It was now conceivably, an hour or so, before that last of light would be put out, when it would shrink into twilight, and then dusk: our light would be gone. Frankly I made a last look over the top of the jungle: Avelino, simply waited down in the opening of the area below, and Rosa and I now were headed toward the rope ladder that lead down to the first platform, there were three platforms we had to descend to.

On the first platform, we stopped a bit to get our balance, and breath, or I did anyways, Rosa really didn’t need to, she seems to adjust in the jungle as well as she does in the high mountains of the Andes, quite well, in comparison to me. We had gone up once, or I suppose you could say several times, to heights in them mountains to exceed 16,000-feet, and she never groaned a bit, as thin as the air gets, she was like she was at sea level, while I’m gasping for air, and trying to rid myself of the headache coming.

“Lets go,” Is aid to Rosa, meaning to the second level, yet I wanted to make sure she knew I was about to descend, and that was the best way to inform her, so neither of us, got in the others way as we climbed down.

“Yes,” she agreed, in her broken English, a native to the Spanish language, and about three years into speaking English as a second language. “It’s going to get dark soon,” she added.

“Yaw, I hope he knows the way back in the dark, but he does have that flashlight.” I said.

“I’m glad you pushed the fact we should take the flashlight along, he really didn’t want to, said he didn’t need it, but it makes me feel safer, even if he doesn’t need it. But I think he’ll need it.” Rosa said, and I just glanced up, as I put my foot down into the next loop of the rope, as if to say: ‘let’s see if he does or don’t, I bet he will.’ (But of course I didn’t say that, I thought that, lest he hear me, and I disrespect his knowledge he so aspires to have of the jungle.) The last several steps were wooded ones, and then the end platform, and out into the open area.

As I caught my breath (for the second time) I waited for Rosa to adjust herself, Avelino, approached us, the flashlight in his back pants pocket. I took a last look at the trees holding the canopy up, the ropes tightly wrapped around them: the ladder that went up, as well as down—and saw the path ahead of us, the same one we had come through, that would lead us back out into the deep of the jungle—it was dark in there, already; the rays of the sun were not piercing the openings of the foliage as it was doing a few hours ago.

There had been rain a few days ago, but not enough to make the ground soggy, or difficult to walk on or through, yet it was not completely dry either, and it would make for a slower walk than what harder gravel would allow. I kind of was thinking of trying to walk at a faster pace back, and Avelino was thinking the same, and it would turn out we were thinking alike, and Rosa with her little legs, and me with my warn out lungs, ended up far behind him, with that flash light still in the back of his pants pocks. As we walked through the jungle, there was no way to keep up with him, he was like a wild cat, and perhaps, perchance showing off a ting. But he slowed down then, allowed us to catch up, and I gave him a smile attached to a smirk.

There were opening in the jungle where you could get a good look at the sky, but it was a quick look if you were walking at a pace Avelino was leading. A wild cat, black had run by, in the distance, I called to Avelino, and point it out, “Just a cat, in its natural habitat, no more, dhats all…” he said as if it was an ant trying to get back to his ant hole. Matter of fact, it was a while back when I saw those ant hills, and they were two feet high, and four feet around, and a stream of ants were going to and fro, and I was going to kick it for the hell of it, to wake them up, and I got the smirk I gave him today, back then. Not sure what would have happened, but I suppose, if they were hungry I’d not be alive to write this story.

The cat was gone, now, perhaps it was 300-feet from us, too far to get a perfect picture of it with my old and aging eyes, but I suppose I needed had gotten a better glance, it was good enough, so I told myself.

There were a lot of dry leaves, and roots extending out of the ground, not as bad as when I was in the Gran Sabana, a year earlier: ‘Thank God for little favors,’ I told myself… those roots killed me, kind of. Broke some toenails, and a friend of mine, a little older than I, fell and broke his nose, and a few others got cuts, and so forth and so on, it was a three hour hike in the jungle, always going upward, upward, until you were 200-feet on a ledge looking over at Angel Falls, 1500-feet high, and 1500-feet below you, and the water of the falls, slapping you in the face, It was the place Rosa wanted to go to for our Honeymoon.

The roots, the wild cat, the ants, the canopy was not much compared to some of the things we had to put up with else where. I shouldn’t say, put up with, it was all an adventure, one we begged for I suppose, and got. As I then looked up into the sky, I though I figured it would be dusk soon, and I was already getting tired, and we were perhaps one forth of the ways into the jungle. Avelino had one speed it seemed, high gear, the only way for him to slow down was to stop. To be quite honest, I think he wanted to make it back to the lodge before he’d have to show us he needed the flashlight.

Many things seemed to move in the threes, in the plant life, undergrowth in the distance, nearby; sounds everywhere, movements, a few eyes I saw, they didn’t look dangerous, up in the tree-branches so I just kept moving.


The Jungle Path

So now going along the green path in the rainforest, I started to notice large toads, and a frog, small one, with a glowing yellowish shade on its back, I was told to leave them be, they were poisonous. You get, or I got anyways, the profoundest urge to grab that cute little frog and give him a life; but I dared not, and Rosa informed me of its deadliness, and of course we both knew of this already: my little angel. Again we say what Rosa called the big lazy birds on branches, a few more eyes here and there, and we all were getting hungry, and we knew the cook at the lodge was cooking Rosa’s and my piranhas we caught yesterday. I was determined to eat them, not sure why, I suppose because they like eating human flesh, but then they like really eating anything that is meat. I had used a pound of steak meat to catch three little big mouth piranhas. We caught them in the dark-waters, in a tributary that connected into the Amazon River (the trees give off this chemical that makes the water darken, and the piranhas seem to like this sort of water, akin to vampire fish). Around our lodge there were many tributaries and streams, and ponds, enmeshed into this basin area that was a little distance from the main Amazon River.

Rosa had brought some water along, she had insisted somewhat, I was thinking I would not need it, but a fresh drink of water was just what was needed, and I drank my share in on setting I do believe. The coolness was invigorating, and I needed to rest, and our guide was getting farther in the distance and we called out to him, and the night was creeping in, smelling the good smells for the Amazon. I was very happy, I had thought about going into the Amazon for ten-years, ten long years; and here I was. People had told me: how can you afford it. I told them, stop drinking or smoking, and put our money together, and don’t buy that new car for another year or so. It was easy to save when you rally want to save. It was like going on a diet.

We had now come to a village…

To be continued

The Green Sea of the Amazon [Chapter One, Part Two: the Village]

We had not stopped for a half hour straight walking, and we seemed to have taken a little side trip, yet still in somewhat of the same direction of the campsite, or lodge; Avelino wanted to introduce us to the chief of a village, who seemed also to be a seer, unless I got it wrong, nonetheless, he greeted us and Rosa talked to him in Spanish. He gave us a tour of the village, then I asked Rosa, “Tell him I want to take his picture,” and she asked the chief.

“But make sure, “he said, “to take my whole body, the spirits, the evil spirits are out for me, and want the chance to invade me, that would open a window for them,” and I assured him the picture would be whole, I had a pilloried camera and so he could see it immediately, and he was happy about that.

“Do you think he will let me blow that six-foot blow gun?” I asked Avelino.

“Sure,” he said, and walked over a foot or two, to where the chief was, and said something to him, and brought the blowgun back to me. I steadied it with my two hands, and blew the dart out with all my might and breath, it went about three feet, that was it. Then the chief looked at me, trying to hold his laugh in, blew it and it went I bet twenty-feet. I smiled at the older man; I was too embarrassed to try it again. I had stopped smoking fifteen-years prior to this event, but it didn’t do much good for air capacity in my lungs, so I found out.

Then we sat in a big open enclosure, and he talked to us, saying something in Spanish to my wife: it was an invitation to stay in the village the night if we so wished, but I declined the offer, then Rosa asked him something about my illness, Multiple Sclerosis, and he asked questions about it, the symptoms: “In the morning,” he said, “you come back here in the morning, I have some sap from a tree I will drain tonight, it will heal your illness.”

Rosa translated this to me (what she had said): she had told the chief it was a neurological problem, that I was dropping things and got tired quickly, and my eyesight was half-hazard half the time, and I got tired often, and I needed to sleep for long periods, so forth and so on, etc., and it was making me unstable: all true I suppose. And he added it would cost ten-soles, or about 3.5 dollars. I assured him I would try it and return in the morning for the bottle, and Rosa smiled at him, and we said our goodbyes, but drank some coconut juice before we started our journey in the dark, and now our guide, pulling out the flashlight he said he did need was saying, “I guess I am glad we brought it along,” he didn’t look at me when he said it, just pulled it out of his back pocket, like John Wayne would in the cowboy movies pull out a gun, around his hip it went and flashed it straight ahead.

We would return in the morning for the—whatever it was—substance the chief had for us, and I did use it for several months, and it did seem to stop the progression of the MS, not cure it, but slow it down, and stabilize me for the moment, I will perhaps have to go back there for more, I thought, after my return home. And after it was gone, it did get worse.

The Green Sea of the Amazon [Chapter Two: Tarantulas]

We were out and under the light of the moon, a good distance from our lodge, in the thick of this jungle, the Amazon. This time there was no path to guide us somewhat, but Avelino assured me he didn’t need one, it was his backyard he said, matter-of-fact, he said that too many times, it made me suspicious. Now we were in the dense jungle, a flashlight in his hands, and mine likewise, the moon over our heads we could hardly see, looking for—none other than the big spider, the Tarantulas. We were lucky in that we got our own guide, and the other group three or four couples, had one guide for them all. It was as I wanted it, if possible.

As we walked in the deep, we past many large trees, larger and thicker than the thickest pillars of any cathedral I had been in, and I’ve been in them from Istanbul to Rome, and throughout South America, and North America—; and all along our sides was entangled shrubbery, a wealth of green. Rosa and I walked shoulder to shoulder, and as far as I knew Avelino was walking was walking everywhichway. But some how we got him to slow down for me, and thus, I got to rest when needed. We had stopped earlier in the day at his home village, perhaps 200- natives, several houses on sticks, or I should say, wooded beams; and a large school house, a square box type building, with a tin roof, and thin wooded sides for walls, not much but it served it purpose. It now comes to mind as we walked through this thick foliage of a jungle at night the story he told us: his village was along side the river, “We got to keep a good eye out on the children, they run off, and get into the thick of the high grass, and the big cats come and pull them by the necks, or the snakes come and swallow them, but mothers can’t be everywhere all the time, can they…” he said, rhetorically. And then he introduced us to his sister-in-law.

All of a sudden we stopped by a big tree, its trunk was perhaps thirty feet round, and its roots extended a half foot out of the ground, and a big hole was under one root, the largest root it seemed, of the tree, or what I could see of the tree.

“It’ll all work out,” he said looking at Rosa, and putting his stick into the hole, thinking perchance, Rosa might freak out or something. Rosa was behind me, I was about four feet from the hole, and of course our guide was almost on top of it, possibly two feet, with his stick inside of it.

Then I saw, and I’m sure Rosa saw legs coming out of the hole: extending out of the hole, not rat legs, but legs…”That’ll be ok,” he said, not sure if he was talking to us or the creature inside the hole; the legs turned out to be hairy, reddish-brown, huge spider legs, called a Tarantula: larger than my whole hand, legs longer than my fingers, as thick as my fingers. Rosa moved just a ting, “Where’d he come from,” she said.

“It’s his home,” said Avelino “I woke him up.”

Now Rosa was stone still and I was amazed, the eyes of the creature were staring at me, or so it seemed, and Avelino waved his long magic wand (or stick) around its legs, as if it tranquilized it; or had him trained to stand down. Then another long legged tarantula came out, as if to either protect its mate, or join in on the festivities. But the second one never came out all the way, like the first one, it kept its guard, and remained halfway in the whole.

“Be calm Rosa,” I said, I could hear her heart beating, and her breathing heavy, but she is a good sidekick when it comes to traveling, she wants to be part of everything, I can only recall once when she panicked and I had to retreat from my forward advance: it was in Glastonbury, England, on the Tor, the Great Mound, known in ancient times as Avalon, when a heard of cows, huge cows came up, and she is a small woman, and they came blocking the walkway to the top, from the bottom upwards as we were coming down, and I grabbed her as not to panic and started walking through the herd, and she pulled away and ran to the side of the mound, and I joined her, and we had to climb down the mound sideways. Oh well, one out of a hundred is not bad.

So here we were with two monstrous huge spiders, with beady eyes, staring at us, and I guess it was to me the funniest thing to see this stick tranquilize them to the point of shortening out the danger, to where there seemed not to be any.

It had been a full day, and therefore after this escapade, we went back to the lodge....

The Green Sea of the Amazon [Chapter Three: The Big Snake]

So when we got back to the lodge that night, we ate our fish our piranha, and it was delicious; we also played the guitar, I did, that is--play the guitar, in the main hall, and painted a picture on a plaque, which was really a piece of plain wood, that they hung up on the wall to let others know who you were, and when you had come to the lodge, they had plaques all around the lodge. There was only gas lights throughout the lodge, inside and outside on the walk way. We had well water, and a tank, and we had big giant toad’s guarding our outhouse as you’d go into it to take a dump. So to summarize the evening, we ate, played the guitar in the dark of the evening, with crickets and wings flapping here and there, and noises you’d never hear any other place except the Amazon, painted a picture and said goodnight to the toads, and went to sleep.

The following night we started ahead of everyone else, to go find snakes, the great anaconda nonetheless. And at night is the best time I was told: it needs sun to regenerate, it is a cold blooded creature, and thus, at night rests, and is at its weakest; we humans need rest, day or night, because our body needs protean, and sleep and food regenerates heat, which our body needs.

And so here we are, all regenerated from a previously nights sleep, and a nice dinner, having our protean, and looking for Mr. or Mrs. Anaconda; or even baby one would do. We took a large boat, so they said it was large, it looked normal to me, the right size for three people, and we rowed with ores down one of the tributaries of the Amazon looking for this snake of snakes half the night. For one, small or big, and every time we got near the banks of the river, the snakes would hightail it out of the vicinity. Our guide had told us then, that more people were coming down onto the Amazon recently, to where they know [the snakes know] when a boat is near, especially these bigger boats, and leave quickly. That there were not many around here anymore that we’d have to go to another location, but it would take a couple of days, not an evening. Plan B, was to get a smaller boat, and sneak in on the snakes, should we find one, and he assured me, we would, providing we went along with his Plan B.

It was a hot evening, it was only 11:00 PM, but very dark, as we got close to the bank again, for the umpteenth time. And again we heard the sounds of the high grass with movements: it was a big snake for sure, our guide assured us, but as he said before, he repeated again, “We go back and get the dugout.” It was a canoe of sorts, a tree I do believe just chipped out by hand and chisel—I saw one a few days ago it looked rough to me; and should you rock the boat, Rosa felt we’d end up swallowed, especially her being 4’11”, she was a half meal for the big snake, me perhaps a meal and a half.

By the time we got back to the lodge, ready to take the dugout boat, I looked at Rosa, the boat, Rosa, the Boat, and said, “I can’t do it, it is just too thin and small, and it was made for the natives not for me.” I am not a big person, but the dugout couldn’t shelter me even for a coffin I do believe.

“Hell with it,” I said, “let's go in, call it a night,” disappointed I was, but there is always reasons for things, and so I do not tempt fate, I just thank God, for the moment.

The Green Sea of the Amazon (Chapter #4, The Wine of the Amazon)

In the following days I saw dozens of small animals, such as monkeys (small they where), birds, butterflies—, butterflies with eyes on their wings, most peculiar I thought, and interesting; ant hills, and macho ants, marching to and fro, carrying twigs like Hercules would carry a pillar from a Greek acropolis. Lazy-birds high up in the branches of trees sleeping away, big bodied birds they were. Then somewhere along the Amazon we stopped at a winery, built in the 1830s.

I walked around this old plant, made of thick old wood: the owner showed us where they crushed the grapes, and the old timbers they interlocked for the apparatus to run the winery. Again, it was most interesting. And I purchased two bottles of wine, gave it to my guide. I think it was more interesting to me on its historical basis than its wine making capacity. I don’t drink anymore, so it was ridiculous to buy wine, other than to show appreciation for the tour.

When we arrived back to the lodge, there were two Amazonian women sitting in one of those dug out canoes, docked at the wooden pier that extended out into the somewhat, Laguna that trailed off of the arm from the Amazon? I asked her (and my wife translated, although I think she understood my Spanish a ting, it is rough), I asked her if she had been here all day (several hours had passed since I've seen her last sitting here), it was no about 5:00 PM.

“Yes,” she said with a big smile.

“But why?” I replied; since we were the only ones at the lodge until after 7:00 PM, when a new group would come. I really didn’t expect an answer, but she said nonetheless, politely, “Wait for you!” This somehow seemed to obligate me to buy something from her (as she had several items displayed on a board of some sort tucked between her legs so the items would not fall off, to steady the showing, and it was a coconut, small in size, with its top cut off I purchased, to use it for –god knows what, I suppose to put change in, or my wife could put pins in it (in the long run it would be tucked away for five years until we moved it to our home in Lima, thus it went from the Amazon, to Lima, to Minnesota, and back to Lima, it is a world traveler I do believe). In any case, she was happy as the lazy bird sleeping in those lofty branches, we saw a while earlier: she gave me a big smile, and her and her female companion drifted out of the Laguna, to the tributary and on home—I expect.

It was a most charming day to say the least.

“Another day,” I said to my wife, “another day and we’ll be going home,” and we walked up the wooden walkway to the lodge, and into the kitchen area for some coffee.

The Green Sea of the Amazon (Chapter Five: Leaving the Amazon)

I sat in the cafeteria area having coffee, it was 10:00 AM, the day we were to leave the lodge and go back to Iquitos, spend a few hours there, and then catch a flight back to Lima, where we had our second home, our other home was in Minnesota, we were on a thirty-day vacation, sort of. We used our home often in Lima as a stepping-stone to travel throughout South and Central America.

So here I sat, had breakfast, and now my coffee and I was bored, bored to death. Next I asked the manager of the place if we could catch an early boat back to Iquitos, it would be a four hour ride in the boat. My boat was coming at 2:00 PM, and I’d miss roaming around Iquitos, and I wanted to see the Iron House again, last time it was a quick, too quick of a visit, and Garcia was running for president of Peru, and was campaigning in Iquitos, staying at the main hotel, I wanted to go and see if I could catch a glimpse of him.

“It cost $200, to take boat early,” said the manager.

“What?” I said in disbelief, “let me talk to the owner in Iquitos?” and he did, via, by way of an old two-way radio; I’ve used them in the Army twenty-five years ago. Anyhow, they agreed to let us take a boat at 1:00 PM, thus, we’d get there an hour earlier than the 2:00 PM ride, and I’d still have a few extra hours to roam the city, just not as much as I wanted, plus it would not cost me an arm and leg for a ride a few hours earlier. Although I understood, I was asking for something that was obviously not on the schedule, and perhaps they had cargo to bring back and forth, and that had to be taken into account.

Anyhow, on our ride back to Iquitos, in a roofed boat, sides open, kind of square like, a big motor on the back, and it chopped though all the waves in front of us, waves other boats were making, so we made good time, and got to Iquitos about 30-minutes earlier than we had expected. The Amazon can get wide, up to 40-miles wide, but the widest I saw during our ride, was perhaps four-miles wide, which is extremely wide I thought, a lot of water to say the least.

When we got into the city, we went to the Iron House, and to an old colonial bar around the corner, and had a coke, then to the new hotel, and I made it just in time, to see the ex president, and now running for office again: Garcia was coming down the stairs with two bodyguards by his sides, we got into the hotel lobby [we: being my wife and I], as the natives were outside waiting for him, I think the hotel people thought we were guests from the hotel, and I grabbed a quick picture of him as he almost stepped on my toes.

And so the trip was mild, but grand. We caught our flight back to Lima on time and went back home to a nice soft bed, and I must had slept twelve-hours.


The Green Sea of the Amazon [Part one of two Parts]


Enthrallment of the Amazon

Every well-traveled person knows such trips (such as the Amazon) are a fix, a mixture of many things, besides a high, it is fatigue and novelty mixed with apprehension. There is such also a thing called enthrallment involved, and the Amazon has this in buckets.

Not all adventures have a full dose of charm, or enthrallment, in degrees I suppose, but not in buckets; and some of the reasoning is because of the timetable does not allow one to inhale this. An example might be, is when I went to Guatemala, to Tikal, the folks in the tour company, the guides in particular, rushed me and my wife to be through the trip so fast, it became dull, fast; overheated. They wanted to get the job done, not caring about enthrallment for its customers, and so like a herd of cows they pushed us through from one point to another with little regard for our capturing anything, we’d have to deal with looking at pictures in the future, and say: “Look at this,” and try to remember the moment if we could.

This trip to the Amazon was not like that, not so: in the unlikely event something like this could happen again, I simply told myself: I’d leave the tour and go on my own. And In Cuba, Santiago, and Easter Island, I did just that, and salvaged the trip before they could spoil it, and they can spoil it. Believe me, there is a skill, art, or craft, if not philosophy in traveling, and you must have a plan B, at all times and hope you can have the edge, and live up to your philosophy, which is what you want out of the trip, lest you end up in a melodrama you will regret.

The Amazon

The Amazon I suppose you could say I was smitten by, utter happiness; I know my nostrils loved it, fresh oxygen all the time. One recognizes himself, or can when taking in the full elements of the Amazon, the: smells, sounds, fresh air, the hidden animals, the sights. A little bit of everything for the senses all pushed together into a ball you might say.

I had my doubts of how I’d like, or respond to the Amazon, that why its been five years in the waiting for me to write about it. I did not think I should write about something of this nature unless it was extraordinary, then I thought: no, that isn’t a good enough reason for me not to write about it, so here it is. Nothing extraordinary, except it is the Amazon, and that in itself is unique.

At any rate, it captured me, and the source of my first attraction was simply resided in its mystic appeal, its legends and lore, its impressiveness to have the capacity to hold more water than the largest seven rivers in the world; to be forty miles wide at one angle; to have one forth the worlds medicines. To be the home of so many species, animals, birds, cats, etc. Whatever ichthyic it was, it was a good one, and it broke he ice for me, and got to me to step into her wild wilderness. While Iceland is a unique place to be, and it has it many wonders likewise, it did not absorb me, as did the Amazon.

You might say, the Amazon took liberties with me, a violation if you will. It seeped into my being, off-balanced my oxygen intake, by me smelling harder, more. In essence, it demands more from you, and takes it, and you have little choice but to give it. It sharpened my sense you could say. I seen total freedom in many cases, perhaps one of the few places left in the world, where the inhabitants don’t know there are wars going on here and there around the world.

It all felt—arriving in the Amazon—unknown, alien time, a world away form the normal world, I was at its mercy, I did not for once in my life, did not have the edge, or for that matter, an edge to create. Perhaps it [it being: the Amazon] knew this, but I for once didn’t care.

As I first arrived going down the Amazon, perhaps the second day, going from one lodge to the other, the sky was full of beautiful clouds, liken to neon lights, except with shades: blurred into to sun beams shooting across the sky, and into and around a seemingly bouquet of puffy white clouds. One gets the feeling I do believe, he or she could get lost at any given moment, and that eyes are looking at you from all directions, ones you cannot see, sometimes ice-glazed eyes.

The Green Sea of the Amazon (Part Two of Two: Afterward: Enthrallment of the Amazon#8)

So yes, the Amazon was oblivious to my being charmed by it, as perhaps I was living in those passing moments, and didn’t know it myself, but it was fabulous. But fabulous is of course just a word, it does not describe its meaning. When we had first went down the Amazon, we stopped at what I’d call a luxury lodge, with TV and all the amenities one may wish to have in the Amazon; we simply used the facilities for prepping for our adventure into the thicker part of the Amazon, perhaps we stayed three hours; the we came to our lodge, which had none of the refinements the previous one had. And had we gone to the third one, which was deeper into the Amazon, we’d have been sleeping on a dirt floor, and ours might have looked like the Hilton, in comparison.

There were familiar flashes of darkness while going down the Amazon, which were simply shifts in the weather, from sunny, to sunny-pale with rain. I tried to enjoy the moment, grab the sky, and I suppose impolite a times in doing so, but I was busy writing down thoughts also. That is perhaps why it took five years to write a simple story as this one. The subconscious has its own knee-deep pitch-black waters, where it hides its treasures until its time to pull them up, and write them out. The good thing I’m trying to say here, is the Amazon is made for everybody to visit, and has degrees one can subject themselves to. As I previous mentioned, for those wanting to visit, and not rough it at all you got the first lodge, just got to endure the boat ride. And the third one is for those madmen who what to live like apes, you can go to that hole in the ground and live; for myself, I prefer the in-between, and got it. It is so true; you get what you pay for.

The overall feeling was mythological; the Amazon gives you no time to think of anything else, besides God and her. The passengers around me, on my way down the Amazon to the lodges were immobile, subdued by her.

Fastidiousness, is not necessary a quality in the Amazon, and if you’ve read about my yellow-bird in one of the previous chapters he was the point of fact to this, but it fit well in creating this story, and even he had a charm that belonged to the Amazon, I hold him no grudges, he was as he was: he wanted attention, like my wife, like our God wants, and like I like. So it is all in the gamut of things, is it not?

posted by dlsiluk @ 5:34 PM 0 comments

Chachapoya Countryside [Peru]

As one rides by in a car, visits a house or two on foot, a few shops in the villages and towns of the Amazonas, whole families walk by with mules and cows, along the roads to these locations: farmers on battered dusty carts, wagons with wooden wheels; no clocks in the city squares, some houses have no glass windows, nor screens: everything’s bare; some horses with no saddles, just a blanket; ploughs-gear old as the houses, a century or two. You can tell by their faces: their ancestors lived here for a thousand years, perhaps still walk the ground far and near. At the end of the road, or the road leading in (at the other end) of each town it seems to have chickens and dogs running around, laying down in the dust for coolness; mules stray.

Here in the Amazonas you wear long rubber boots for mud is unavoidable; women wear derby hats; landslides are like muck pies, thick and troublesome: everywhere, gangs of workmen cut through them: shovel-by-shovel: it’s another world.

Note: #1328 [4/23/06], Lima, Peru, Written at the Author’s home in the evening.


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