After spending 2 days in Iquitos, we are off for a four day trip up the Amazon river on the Brazilian built boat that you can see on the first photo below. We were only three quests on this magnificent Selva Viva ship with 6 people crew members, including captain, navigator, a guide, two French NGO employees and two Peruvian ladies cooking amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner for us everyday.
The source of the Amazon river originates in Perú and flows for nearly 7000 km to Brazil where it finally discharges into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon basin accounts for roughly one-fifth of the world's total river flow. It feels that the river doesn't have a distinct bed, but rather flows through the forest with tips of the trees just sticking out of the water here and there.
The life in the Amazon rainforest seems to be flowing at a slow phase. People live their isolated lives and seemingly nothing has changed for the past 100 years.
The moment we departed, on the banks of the the Amazon river about 30 km upstream from the city of Iquitos is the town of Tamshiyacu. Today many tourists come here to participate in the infamous Ayahuasca ceremonies. Our boat moves very slowly as it starts raining, but allowing to take shots of Tamshiyacu town.
Thousands of wooden boats commute from village to village and carry people, crops or fish. The people who live in the villages farm and fish in different locations throughout the Amazon, and utilize the river as their main source of transportation. There are also slightly larger boats that can accommodate up to 12 people that circulate from village to village as public transportation allowing people to move between places as well as kids getting to school.
The most unique places down the Amazon river are the local villages, where people live their isolated lives. Our ship had a smaller motor boat attached to the side which we took to go on short trips to different Amazon creeks, tributaries and local villages. Two French NGO employees that assisted the crew on the boat had access to many villages and knew people who live there by helping them in many different ways. For example in one particular place, deep at the end of creek, lives a wilder with his family who gets help from NGO employees growing and protecting medicinal plants.
Wilder and his family took us through the rain forest to show us the medicinal plants that he helps plant and protect. This white sap coming from the leche caspi tree helps against diarrhea.
Oswaldo holding a tree branch with termites nest.
Our ship is completely mechanical with no modern day digital gadgets installed. Therefore it can not move during the nigh time. Every evening our captain would "dock" in different locations to spend the night and continue the journey early in the morning.
More in Part 2.