It’s been four days now of winding our way up impossibly beautiful rivers that are flanked by curtains of lush jungle on both sides. Vines hang down from the trees like ropes and fallen trees often barricade our path and cause our little convoy to stop and work out a way through / under / over.
From the Wai Wai village we hired villagers whose knowledge of the jungle is nothing short of humbling. They hunt and fish with their bows and arrows and they can light fires in the torrential rain in seconds. We’re supplementing our food with fish caught by the men and occasionally other hunted animals such as armadillo. This is not a policy as much as it’s simply necessity – and how you do things out here.
As much as the first two days was breathtaking and I was just absorbing the rawness of the jungle – I’ve started to get restless. Sitting in these dugout boats with their little outboard engines all day is giving me too much time to think. Will we find the source? Is this taking too long? If I was bitten by that snake would I be able to be evacuated in time? I just want to physically get paddling now. I’m a person of action and this is too contemplative a period.
The team is a happy one but one that is aware just how remote we are. I don’t think any of us are what I would call relaxed. I’m sure once we start exerting ourselves the mood will change.
I will aim to update as often as I can. I hope we will start the trek on foot to the source tomorrow. Or maybe the day after.
I just saw my first ever jaguar foot print.