Thursday, January 27, 2011

Amazon=The Tribe of Native Warrior Women


“It’s like you’re putting cream in your coffee” I heard someone comment. Perfect description, but doesn’t do it justice.

Today was the beginning of my first overnight excursion which Karissa and I happened to both be on. Our first stop on the excursion was the meeting of the waters, the Rio Negro (from Colombia) and Solomon’s(?) River (from Peru). This is one of the natural wonders of the world and it is certainly a wonder! “It’s like you’re putting cream in your coffee.” Perfect description, but doesn’t do it justice. From far away it looks like you’re coming up to a beach but as you get closer it is a clear distinction between the dark river and the light river and they absolutely do not mix! There are three reasons for this, density, temperature, and speed. If you’re bored, I encourage you to look it up because it is really amazing.

We crossed from one river to the other and went to a small island that you wouldn’t even know is inhabited. The people there sleep in hammocks as one of the guides told me, “they’re tree people”. Who knew! The boat we were on docked at a tiny man made wooden dock that was more like a plank and we walked up a bridge, more planks of wood, to the town. I felt like I was walking into the Dharma Initiative community (and Lost fans?) because there was this community in the middle of an island. It just felt so out of place. We wandered past the houses, further into the island and were shown how rubber is made. Rubber comes from trees. I did not know that. What they do is they carve a diagonal line and this white liquid substance starts to appear. They put a tin cup at the bottom of the slash and the liquid drips (very slowly) into the cup. When you rub a little bit of the substance around in your hand, it turns to rubber for the body heat. So what they do is, once they have collected enough of the liquid they put it on a stick over a fire and it turns to rubber and they gradually add more and more liquid till it becomes a rubber ball about the size of a large water melon.

After seeing the rubber demonstration, we continued walking through the island along the river and to my surprise, there were neighborhoods! There were only a few houses in each one but they were separated by gates and there was a footpath that went through all of them that we referred to as Main Street (more like Only Street) for the day. At the end of the road there was a large wood building which was set up with long dining tables where we had lunch cooked by the people on the island and it was amazing. Oh, and outside the building there was a young girl with her pet sloth…
After the island we went to the Tiwa Amazon Ecoresort where we would be spending the next 2 nights and 3 days. The resort is located on its own beach and the cabins are built along both sides of a lake. When we arrived we gathered in the lobby/restaurant and were given room assignments. Karissa and I were split up which was good because we are SO tired of each other. JUST KIDDING! (Incase anyone was wondering were getting along great and shockingly not tired of each other and not fights. All love in cabin 4143!) HOWEVER, we do recognize that splitting up means meeting new people as individuals instead of as a duo. That said, our 3 day roomies were great! My roommate and Karissa’s two roommates already knew each other because they all go to Michigan but the 5 hit it off and so a beautiful friendship began.
We had the rest of the day and evening free to spend by the pool, with the pet parrot. No, really. There was a parrot at the hotel and its bird stand was right by the pool so we would be sitting on the lounges talking and all of a sudden it would swoop down and start yelling so try to picture a bunch of girls jumping out of their seats and screaming at the shock of this creature flying through our conversation. It was probably pretty funny to watch and equally as embarrassing to be watched in the situation. But anyway, it was hot and muggy so the pool was great! We hung around the pool for awhile and unfortunately nobody brought homework since we didn’t realize there would be this much free time, bummer, so we just spent the day hanging out.

Dinner was served at 7:30. It was gourmet spread of vegetable, fruit, breads, meat, chicken, fish, salad, and probably more that I don’t remember (this is how every meal at the hotel was). We were informed that the hotel had free wi-fi and although everyone was disappointed that we didn’t have our computers so that we could take advantage of that luxury which we don’t have on the ship, it was nice because we ended up sitting at dinner for 4 hours every night just talking. So that was the end of night one. We went back to our nice air conditioned hotel rooms and thought about our friends who were either out in the jungle or on riverboats sleeping in hammocks. We had to get a good night sleep because we would be leaving the hotel for our jungle trek at 8 am the next day.

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