Jane of the Jungle

Trip Start Oct 03, 2007
Trip End Jul 03, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Friday, October 12, 2007

Just spent five days in the amazon jungle!

After five days in the Amazon I look like I have chicken pox.  At best.  Even the ¨Hauncayo grade¨mosquito repellent as Luchos called it, and our mosquito netting could not protect me from the army of insects lurking in the jungle. 
We departed Huancayo 630am Monday morning and made our way through the mountains to La Merced, a very  very very hot jungle city.  So hot I had to run down the street when we stopped for lunch just to buy lighter pants and shorts!  Our lunch in Merced was fruit heaven!  My favorite... apple bananas: bananas that tasted just like apples!  There was this other fruit, green and round with pink spikes on the outside that was very tangy and juicy!  Loved it, though I wish I knew what it was called.  One of the pitstops we made before La Merced was to see how one community lived in the mountains.  Their lifestyle is not far removed from the way things were 150 years ago.  Their bank account is the herd of sheep couped up between their huts, their huts are made from the grass and sheep dung, and they only go into the ¨city¨ to trade sheep meat for vegetables and oil.
From La Merced we drove to a small town for lunch, where we transferred everything we would need for our jungle stay, including ourselves, into the back of a pickup truck!  You know... like in the movies... ten people in the back of a truck with bags and food and a bag of sheep dung.  Hahah.  Quite the bumpy ride down the jungle road to the farm where we were to stay at! 

The farm is Lucho´s father´s, and is so deep into the jungle I though we´de never get out!  The view was amazing, our meals were quite interesting, and the treking ... probably the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life!  We ate alligator and sheep and armadillo for dinners.  As for our hikes, let me just say the Grouse Grind has NOTHING on what we trekked through in the high jungle!  The trails we took weren´t even trails, Pauol had to use a machete to create something of a path for us to hike through.  We repelled down steep cliffs, slid down the jungle hillsides, climbed waterfalls, words cannot describe!  We saw so many birds, crazy insects, tarantulas, and this spiderweb that was at least as big as my apartment in Van.  Not even exaggerating. 

Pauol and his family are now staying at the farm.  Three kids all under 4 years old... absolutely adorable and hard workers too!  Peruvian kids go to work with the parents all the time, as soon as they are able to walk, if not to work, at least to watch and learn necessary life skills.  Pauol was our entrusted guide through the amazon, like a monkey he would pounce up a waterfall, or a hillside and then sling down the rope for us to struggle our way up with.  His wife was paralyzed from the waist down just over 2 weeks ago... a long story but she is getting better.  The spirits of the stream were angry with her... will fill in more later I´m out of time!
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