Jungle Part 2

I was distracted by the Hudl charging trauma.

Although there were no sightings of wildlife I did see several tracks of a very large tapir and also what Ramiro said was an armadillo. No poo anywhere, apparently it is dealt with very quickly by beetles.

I did have an impressive butterfly in my bedroom one night. Wingspan is about 5 inches.

On reflection the event that had the most impact was when I went into the jungle with Ramiro and Jens’s young intern after dark. There were lots of weird and wonderful insects to see, stick, spiders beetles. But it was when he motioned to turn off our torches. It was black, totally black. Up in the sky nothing, sideways nothing. You knew there were two people within arm’s reach but no sight. And the noise of all the insects pressing in on you.

We were supposed to go to a saltlick to see parrots in the morning but it involved wading through a river that would have been too swollen with recent rains.

At least I learned quite a lot about the medicinal properties of a lot of the trees. Sangue de drago that seemed to cure most things and could be used for facepainting and then rubbed in to become a creamy sunscreen. Thick yellow extrusion like butter coming from cracks in a really old tree that is the Amazon answer to Vick. Roots of plants that are mashed up and used to catch fish by stunning them. A plant whose leaves you mash up mix with water and drink to stave off snakebites long enough to get treated.

Ramiro had trained as a shaman since he was seven. His father and grandfather were shamans. They hold a body of knowledge built up over hundreds or even thousands of years. And his children aren’t interested. He needs to find someone in the village willing to train.

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    • Reply

    Really enjoying your blog Paul – can you come home with some new quinoa recipies please

    • Reply

    Lovely jungle pic – makes me wish we were with you !

    • Reply

    Had a look on the web for your butterfly. Best I could find is the Adelpha (colloquially known as ‘sisters’), but couldn’t see a size reference online.

    Have you tried the Sangue de drago as sunscreen?

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