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Adventures of the Jungle

I am just home from Peru, the Amazon and the jungle. What an adventure!! Truly, a place of beauty, many creatures large and small... even the small creatures are large though! I had the great fortune to join some dear friends dedicated to personal growth through shamanic practices, and to go on an adventure into the wilds of the jungle at the top of the Amazon river in Peru.

I arrived in Lima, Peru Oct. 16, 2009. The plane flights from Denver to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Lima proved to run several hours late this particular trip. Luckily, we arrived a day early so we could aclimate before the next leg of the journey into Iquitos. After 13 or so hours of travel, delays and all, about half our group gathered at the airport in the early morning hours. After all our luggage was retrieved, we took a van to our hotel in Mira Flores (a district in Lima near the market downtown.

After a decent night's sleep I am up and having breakfast with most of my group, eating fresh mangos and drinking strong coffee. While in Peru one must always remember to drink bottled or purified water too, so as to avoid the parasites and small creatures that live in the waters of this land, who are unfriendly to Americans and Canadians typically. Our stomachs are not used to these little ones. On my last trip I had first hand knowledge of this after brushing my teeth with the water from the tap, which I had totally forgotten about. This time I was not going to have that experience!

Lima gave way to a day adventure to the market where I scored a nice baby alpaca blanket and a beautiful Andean scarf, along with a nice hand painted guadalupe and some andean jewelry of the god Tumi. It was more than I had planned to spend, as most of my money was being saved for the jungle and the treats I would find in Iquitos and along the Amazon with the people who lived remotely there.  The night of the 16th the rest of our adventure crew arrived so we could leave for Iquitos the next day. 

Iquitos

Shamanic adventures are always more than being with shamans. Much of the adventures come in navigating the travel from one's home town to another country, then making one's way from one location to another, with or without the local language. The morning of the 17th twenty-five of us headed to Iquitos, Peru, a river town of 300-400,000 people. The morning began at 5am when we were to all meet to get in buses to head to the airport, where we took a plane ride for half a day to arrive in Iquitos. Then from the airport in another bus to get to our hotel close to the river front. A beautiful day to travel, from a somewhat overcast coastal city of Lima, to the river town of Iquitos where people live in small thatched roofed huts often right on the river. The town is filled with poor people, all hawking their wares to us Americans. Children often come up to sell you something, anything they can. Much of the wares are made from their artistic natures and belongings native to their cultures and land.

Exhausted by the time we arrive, I settle into my room and go to bed early. Too tired for dinner.

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