"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

August 9, 2015

Week 24 ~ More of the Amazon Experience

    Our stay at Ceiba Tops was delightful.  The idea for the resort/jungle experience was was conceived by an American, Peter Jensen, some 60 years ago.  He wanted people to come and experience the Amazon River and Jungle and yet he did not want them to be completely uncomfortable to do it.  He located some land along the river and began building simple huts that provided adequate shelter and protection from the daily down pours and copious mosquitoes.  Some years later a lodge/mess hall was added, then more huts, a swimming pool, and finally modern air-conditioned-hot water cabins.  Ceiba Tops is far from being a luxurious 5 star resort "play ground."We were glad it wasn't, but it was comfortable, and very well planned, nestled unobtrusively just off the river and into the jungle with the actual feel of the jungle with all the night sounds and glowing in the dark eyes of the cayman, tapir and who knows what else kinds of animals.  The food was delicious and the workers incredible.  It really was the only location on the Amazon with electricity, kind of like an oasis in the jungle.....  Can their really be an Oasis in paradise?  Anyway. We loved it!

 The second day we had several options, rest and enjoy the jungle around the lodge or go fishing.  I opted for the latter, Diane stayed at Ceiba Tops and took a hike into the jungle.  The courageous Amazon "fishermen" took some small skiffs and ventured into some of the Amazon tributaries to look for the ferocious, and voracious flesh eating Piranha.  We were given a little stick for a pole, some fishing line, a hook, and cut raw meat.  It took a while but I finally got the hang of it and pulled in two Amazon catfish and two "dangerous" Piranha that became part of our dinner later that night.  They don't look so scary or dangerous now, do they!!

We also went to the native village of the Yagua. Joe learned how to blow a dart from a blow gun and hit the target several times. They also did a little jaunt in a circle to the beat of a drum. The (actor) natives were dressed in the traditional skirts and grass headdresses and the women were topless except for the grass around their necks. I had brought some little candies and toys for the children and giving it away was the highlight of our visit there.

We visited the little villages of Indiana and Mazan, really unique interaction with the locals in the motocars and markets. The fish loaded on the tables fresh out of the Amazon, some still breathing.  I loved to see the children. I brought some candy to share with them and bring a smile. We drove the motorcar from Mazan back to Indiana where we had a boat ride back to Ceiba Tops. The ride was an incredible experience seeing the back country of the rain forest. We saw a lady washing her clothes in the Amazon, the rain coming down enough to flood the road. The road, well, it was more like a sidewalk just enough room for the motorcars. There were houses on stilts with thatched roofs, no glass windows and no electricity, often no furniture except for some lounge chairs. There was one man who was cutting the bananas from the tree and loading them onto his little buggy. It was a great ride back to the boat. Since it was a national holiday, the children were everywhere. It poured rain every day but only lasted for an hour or so.

We've had a number of opportunities to travel throughout the South America Southwest Area.  We've been to the high mountains of Peru, visited a cacao finca in Ecuador, enjoyed the beauty beneath the shadows of majestic volcanoes, but our most memorable and interesting experience thus far was our little jaunt to Iquitos Peru and the humble, simple life along the Amazon River.

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