Sunday, June 15, 2014

Towns along the Amazon, hiking in the forest and a Shaman Ceremony

After our canoe trip, we visited the nearby village of San Regis. 
This village has about 800 people.  

They have a town square.

This is the sidewalk in front of the town square.  Most of these are homes, but a few are small shops in front.

This walkway is new and connects the town across the inlet.

This town has one of the high schools for the area.

These kids are enjoying swimming in the inlet off the river.

Even though this looks like a regular street, remember, there are no cars here.  Not even motorcyles.  But it makes a nice place for the kids to play.  They even have a volleyball net strung across the street.

Another beautiful sunset on the Amazon.

We got to visit a local Shaman and participate in a healing ceremony.

This Shaman is a woman.  The bottles hold the medicines she uses.  Amazonian Shamans use ayahausa as a window to the soul.  Ayahausca is a psychedelic brew from various plants in the jungle.  It has been used for centuries for healing.  Recently it has become very popular and there are many retreats in the jungle where you can go to experience ayahausca.  The shaman uses the drug to obtain an altered state of consciousness so they can interact with the spirit world and channel energies into this world.  Some say the shamans have centuries of theraputic experience.  It can also be a very dangerous drug and if not used properly or without someone to guide you, people have been known to die.  
She only used some smoke and chants to blow away the bad spirits for us.

This barge is pushing a load of lumber up the Amazon River.

The Amazonas  was built in the early 1900s and is still operational and in use on the river today.  It is the oldest ship on the Amazon River.
We arrive in Nauta town which boasts a population of 14,000.  It also has a road which now runs to Iquitos, the only road in the Amazon River Basin.

A load of bamboo.

Here is a recently off loaded shipment of plantains.

Restocking supplies for the ship by purchasing some tiger catfish for supper.

The town square and local Catholic Church.

Hand made crafts for sale.

We got to ride in one of the local tricycle or tut tut.

A wall at the city park had murals of local fish, snakes, birds and animals.

There was even a small lake in the park, called Bird Lake.

We were driven in the tut tuts to this hill above the city overlooking the river.  Disregard the two children in the picture, they were not part of our group.
We only got to take one hike since most of the areas were flooded.  

The hike was only 1 1/2 miles, but the point was to see what kind of wildlife we would venture upon.  We divided into two smaller groups for the hike, but even then they hired locals to go along and make sure we did not have any problems.

Coastal ginger, but it is not edible.  I tried to find out more info, but nothing is available under the name of coastal ginger.  Must be a local name.

Walking Palm

We were told not to venture off the path.  There are poisonous snakes and we wouldn't want to disturb something as dangerous as a bushmaster.  No need to tell me twice, I stayed in the middle of the path.

Poison Dart frog.

Porcupine Palm.  I wouldn't want to accidentally fall into this tree!

Leaf Mimic Forest Toad.  This is just a baby.  These are the largest toads in the forest and can grow to 4 pounds.

Rainbow Boa.  This picture just doesn't do the colors justice.  This snake shimmers in the light.

Pink Toed Tarantula.

Rubber Tree

Another Poison Dart frog.

So my Amazon River Cruise is now officially over and I head back to Lima.  There I will visit a gold museum before flying to Cusco in the southern Andes mountains of Peru to visit Machu Picchu.  So my next blog will be on my adventure to Machu Picchu.

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