After an incredible breakfast Friday morning, we headed out to see some of the Amazon River. :) Beyond words... is about all i have. I went picture crazy, so forgive the amount of pictures. I did slow down as the weekend went on, but it's hard to not take a picture every fifty feet. There's always something that i don't want to forget; so i take a picture. When my camera battery started dying around noon, i decided i needed to take it easy. Our first destination was a clinic. remote amazon-ness. Before I left the states, i had a conversation with my cousin Jeremy about the fact that Peru isn't exactly the medical capital of the world. Yeah, Jeremy would probably die if he saw these conditions... but for having everything boated in from who knows where, it could have been worse. I took pictures, of course. This room... is the operating room. :) yeah, we just walked in and were all standing around the surgical stuff that is sitting on shelves, in the open. Let's just say, I'm really glad my back surgery was in the states and not here. I'm not sure i'd still be alive. haha. They don't do anything that complex though, and this is the top clinic around. People come from far and wide because there is a doctor here... graduated from school and everything! Seriously though, they are doing everything they can! And it's obvious how much they care about the people in the surrounding villages. All in all, i was really impressed. They are just here to serve the people...and they do the absolute best they can with what they have. They've worked so hard to get where they are and have soo many plans for the future.
We went to another lodge for lunch. It was only about 10 minutes farther into the jungle than the clinic, so it was perfect. Before lunch though, we turned off the path, walked straight into the jungle for about fifteen minutes (finding this little guy along the way... and no Maria, i did not touch him!). Kept going and stumbled upon this village. The Yagua natives performed traditional dances for us. Talk about interesting! All i can say is that they certainly don't dance like us. haha... we were all invited to join for the final dance which basically was all of us walking around in a circle. I was totally confused, but they were so pleased that we joined them (i have videos, i might try to add on in a separate post).
Then, they taught us how to use their totally sweet, but deadly dart guns. Of course, the darts we used weren't deadly which was really good, cause my aim wasn't exactly dead on. I really wanted to bring one home for my brothers, but i only had a carry-on backpack and i didn't think Peruvian airlines would appreciate my carrying 30 mini-darts onto an airplane. The people were really really nice, although they really just wanted us to buy things that they had made. Mostly jewelry and such made from seeds of the jungle and fish vertebrae. Pretty darn awesome if you ask me, but i guess i'm just not one to wear a pirahna head around my neck.
After lunch, we went to find the famous pink dolphin of the Amazon. Found one! Then went swimming about 20 yards away in the Yanayacu River, which means "black water". Yes, i went swimming in the Amazon. :) Pretty darn awesome!I seriously debated not diving in, but how many times do you have a chance to swim in the amazon? Basically, this might be the only chance i get, so i took the risk. Brasilio promised there were no pirhanas. After about 10 minutes, we got back in the boat. 10 minutes away, we pulled off into a darker area and went fishing!
Apparently, i have a knack for pirhana fishing... whatever pride i lost with the dart guns, i regained here. First off, i have to say (cause i'm ridiculously proud of the fact) that i am sooo glad i grew up in a family of hunters. Raw meat is just not that big of a deal. Some of the girls...and the guys actually were unsure of that fact. I was amused. haha. So, i cuaght the first fish... a sardine. lol! Big though... well, bigger than any sardine i've seen in a can. Then i caught 2 pirhanas... the biggest of the day (including the four caught by Brasilio) haha, i should go professional. He asked if i wanted to take one back and eat it... I freakin said no! What was i thinking???? Oh well, i messed up. :( We caught a total of 14 i think, 9 people.
On the way back to the lodge, we stopped off to see the Amazon lilies, some of the biggest ever! I am dead serious when i say i could lay down in one of them quite comfortably and my feet wouldn't be at the other end. I wouldn't float, of course, but anyway... while we were there, the natives had caught some snakes... an anaconda and an arco iris. Small ones, but we all got to hold them. Snakes... and an alligator (or crocodile) i still don't know the difference. And we all got to hold an oso perezoso... aka sloth. Pretty much teh cutest thing ever! The lady in the picture is Maria Elena... she's the awesome one who basically helps us with everything!
Back at the lodge, finally, we ate an incredible dinner while watching a show of dances intermixed with the guys from the lodge playing. :) incredible! It was a great time! After that, I chilled with a few of the girls Patricia, Hannah, and Rita in the bar area, journaling, telling stories. Just girl time.... until Harry showed up. Harry is one of the servers at the lodge... he's basically awesome. He'll show up again later, but for now, just know that he's a great guy. He sat and chilled with four girls for almost three hours. He's got incredible memories of the amazon and knows how to tell a good story. He's worked here for five years and has met sooo many awesome people . He knows bits and pieces of like six languages just from hearing tourists talking. It's quite impressive.