As I once again prepare to travel this week, this time to Mexico, I wanted to release a new cinema story from my latest adventure to South America. I was so very fortunate to visit Peru once again and this time I spent most of my trip in the amazing Amazon jungle forest in the norteastern part of the country. Never had I been there before but it had eluded me on our last trip to South America when I was with my wife. You can see that blog and the photos here.
For those of you that know me, you know that traveling and exploring is my biggest passion. I’ve been to 75 different countries at this point in my life and it is really hard for me to visit the same place twice unless I know I’ll see something that I hadn’t visited the last time I was there. I believe the world is small yet there is so much to see in in our short stay on it. So on this return trip to Peru I wanted to see something that I felt like I missed on the last trip, The amazing Amazon River. My buddy and brother-in-law Mitch was along with me to experience the wonder of life in the jungle. Neither Mitch nor I could have had any idea what it was going to be like but it was something that we really have a hard time putting into words. Iquitos is a very unique place, isolated from most of the world and even the rest of it’s own country it really has a unique feel. You can only fly in or boat down the rivers to reach this gem and it’s feel is very different from the rest of Peru, it even slightly reminded me of some parts of coastal Africa. Scooters and rickety old buses bustle through the streets and just outside the city area the mighty amazon flows past. Retired and “out of retirement” boats and barges transport product and people from village to village. The town of Iquitos itself has seen better days since its rubber boom, buildings are run down, the streets are in rough shape and the tourism here is better suited to people leaving for a jungle lodge rather than stay more than a day.
With that being said we did both for an extended period. Five days at a lodge, Tahuayu Lodge, the furthest out at roughly 4 hours by boat from Iquitos and then five more days back in Iquitos. In retrospect I think a few less days in Iquitos would have been fine, but staying longer really gave us a chance to get our bearings, really experience such sights as Belen and feel less like rapid travelers and more of a local.haha
Late April is the tail end of the rainy season. The weather is warm, sometimes scorching hot and the rain is here one day, and then gone another. What makes the rainy season here different than I experienced in Central Africa or Central America for instance is that the villages here were completely built to accommodate the rain and the flooding with supported homes, similar to some parts of South East Asia we had been, but still this was extreme. And when I say flooding I mean flooding. Entire homes and small villages that are set 10-30 feet above the water during the rainy season and then during the dry season they are tree top homes, or they just sit where the water level grounds out. I truly can’t imagine what it’s like in the dry season, what a completely different place and way of life.
Families use canoes like we use cars, and even the children are boating, at the early ages of 3 or so, it was so unique and special. As I continue to blog with photos about the various portions of the trip, like working with Plan, and Victor Delfin and other special moments on the trip I’ll fill you in on the country that we saw. These are simply moments in time from the trip, seeing a good friend about to have a new baby, traveling the rivers, sunsets, sunrises, the nights in the jungle and so on.
Please enjoy the film and I hope it inspires you to visit sometime. It’s an amazing country!