I never quite got around to adding photos to the post on my brief excursion into the Amazon jungle. So here's a follow up post with a few snaps.
Junglecraft 101: the branches of the liana tree act as natural filters, so if you know how to identify the tree, you can always find a source of pure, fresh water in the jungle.
Most palm-type trees have edible larvae or suri in their branches. They have a slight flavour of coconut, though I'm ready to believe that they're tastier when fried.
At night, tarantulas can easily be found on tree trunks in the jungle. Their diet includes small birds. To humans, their venom is not fatal, but will apparently leave you in considerable pain for about eight hours. This was about as close as I wanted to get.
The river was high, and we canoed through the flooded forest looking for birds. Occasionally, we spotted a sloth high in the tree branches.
Under the shade of some mangroves, we managed to catch a few snapping piranhas, while the others stole half a chicken's worth of bait.
Despite it's resemblance to a large goldfish, there's reason for the piranha's fearsome reputation. It's teeth are razor sharp, and are said to be able to take off a finger with a single bite.
On the river, thunderclouds gathered in the afternoon heat.
But it was great to catch a breeze cruising along in the motor canoe.
Back in Iquitos, some Indian girls do a fantastic drum-accompanied tribal dance on the waterfront most evenings. Their party trick to finish off is dancing with a couple of boas that have been slithering around their feets. The snakes seem pretty tame, but I'm not sure I'd want to get as, ah, intimate as they do.
Categories: Peru, Amazon, Iquitos