"Life In The Amazon"

In another story, I talked about what it was like to spend a night along side the Amazon River. I would however in this offering just like to talk a little bit about the Amazon River and area itself and the people who live there.

Pygmies

To reach the Amazon you take a plane from Lima to a place called Iquitos. It is not exactly a place that you can expect to find too many creature comforts. People in this area live in a manner that most visitors are not accustomed to.

Those who are considered to be among the more, wealthy may have one of the huts you see in the image, on the mud banks of the river, which is the starting point for most Peruvian Amazon adventures. The river's water stays a dirty brown as it flows by Iquitos. You would not expect to find floors in these huts just the mud of the rivers bank would serve as the floor. Electricity and running water as well as other comfort facilities fall into the dream only category. The Amazon is not known for comfort.

The Amazon River is however known for its unequalled and endless realms of mystery. The forest along its banks is so dense that in most places it is almost impossible to find a landing spot. There is such a diversity of life in the area that scientists have still not been able to identify and log all the species.

Boat
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Jungle Camp
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Kids in Water
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Shack
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There are more kinds of fish in the river than you would find in the Atlantic Ocean well in excess of 2000 species. There are 4000 species of birds including at least 120 different kinds of hummingbirds.

The river is at its widest point in Brazil where it reaches a span of 40 miles across. The water level of the river can fluctuate 45 feet from season to season. The river is set in a warm and very humid climate that remains so throughout the entire year. The most important packing advice for anyone wanting to visit the Amazon is to pack light with mix and match clothing. Take a lot of bug spray along and don't forget Band-Aids. You might also like to take along some nice trinkets to give to kids and others you might meet in the jungle if you plan to go there.

Travel up and down the river, is done in anything from luxury cruise ships to thatch covered boats. I would recommend the luxury cruise - ships myself although there is something to be said for stepping right into it all in the most direct way, which is what I did. Thatched boat to the jungle camp and on foot through the jungle. That is the only way that you are going to get to see sights like the pygmy village that I visited. You can probably imagine that a guy like me in the 450 t0 500 pound range caused quite a reaction from the jungle natives. They were so excited that an instant festival broke out and I was invited to take on the chief in a blow gun contest. When I shot it farther than him and actually hit the planned target I was awarded a special blow - gun as a symbol of honor from the tribe. It was quite an event.

Pygmies Smoking

There is no adventure that can even come close to what you experience in a visit to The Amazon.

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