The Amazon. Arriving.

Date October 16, 2008

The taxi picked us up at 3:00 a.m. this morning and there was more waiting than I’d expected, but we are here at last.

I’m lying beneath a mosquito net on a bed in a room with no true walls.  The edges of the sheer material are tucked snugly beneath my thin mattress and I feel like this space is my own so I settle in a bit.  My thoughts are scattered and many, and my travel induced weariness makes it hard to organize them all.

But I must, lest I forget it all.

The docks in Leticia were a whirlwind of shuffling and running and squeezing into tight spaces.  Somehow I found a seat on the boat bound for Amacayacu.  There were two loaves of bread at my feet, a sand covered bag at my side, and a young Colombian girl in my lap and it occurred to me that this might all be a dream.

I stared at longboats heavy with plantains coming to dock from the river as we waited to shove off and I watched as people ambled about on the banks with their broad, bare feet walking nimbly over boards and puddles and boats along the way.  I saw fishing nets cast and drawn time and time again and I listened as shouts of hellos or helps rang out in the afternoon heat.

And it was not a dream.

The ride to the national park took an hour and a half and I sat on the hard bottomed boat with the sleeping child in my lap as the wind blew through my dirty, tangled hair.  The Amazon River rolled and ran beneath us and her banks were heavy with stories and mysteries that I longed to hear.

Houses with thatched roofs built high on stilts and steps carved into the mud.  Children swimming in the coffee colored water.  A family of eight piled into a canoe, their wide smiles gapped their hands waving enthusiastically.  Fishing lines running parallel to the shores and thoughts of the jungle hiding behind it all.

What will tomorrow hold?

You can read another point of view about our trip on Celeste’s site.  Tell her I said hello.

5 Responses to “The Amazon. Arriving.”

  1. Lou said:

    Wonderful reading. Again you have put me there and at the same time it is hard to imagine a Mississippi home girl being in such an exotic place. Look forward to more.
    Love Ya

  2. Nieca said:

    Thanks for letting me have such a vivid picture. I love getting a “second chance” of seeing the world with you!!!

  3. Dani said:

    These pictures are great. I could actually visualize (is that z right? or maybe s?) the boats of plantains. I’m like Lou… it’s hard to imagine a Mississippi girl getting to experience all that you do!

  4. Anal English Guy said:

    The wind doesn’t blow “threw” your hair. It blows “through” your hair.

  5. Emily said:

    Anal English Guy: You made my day. Thanks for the public shame. I’d rather you catch my goofs than Mom!