Into the Amazonian jungle...

Nauta Travel Blog

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By Saturday I had finally recovered enough so that we could book our jungle tour and on Sunday we headed into the jungle. First two hours by taxi to Nauta and from there another hour and a half or so by boat until we got the village of our guide Elvis.

In the village we loaded all our food and equipment into a dug-out canoe and headed up river. Our party consisted of Elvis, his brother Juan Carlos the cook, a brit named Dave and Nicole and I. After going up the river for about an hour or so we headed straight into what appeared to be dense jungle but in fact at this time of year the water is so high that all the trees are completely submerged in water and we carried on floating between the trees for about another 30 min or so until we finally found some high ground where we could put up our camp.

The first thing we noticed is why they tell you to wear long pants and sleeves and to bring insect repellent. The mosquitos are completely unbelievable. You haven't seen mosquitos until you've been to the jungle. They're constantly flying into your mouth and nose and there is almost a fog of mosquitos in front of your eyes. Unbelievable! I ended up wearing jeans for the whole time we were in the jungle despite the oppressive heat because those were the only long pants I had.

That evening we went out on the canoe again, floating around in the dark in search of some Caimans (alligators). Our efforts were eventually rewarded and although we only saw a very small one, it was still worth it.

The next day we went on a walk in the jungle and Elvis showed us all the plants, how to cut vines so that the water runs out which you can drink, how to make a roof by weaving leaves together, how to make a skirt from other leaves, etc... It was pretty amazing!

In the afternoon we moved camp and put our hammocks up in someone else's house which I was quite thankful for because the heat had exhausted me and I was quite happy to have the comfort of a roof over our head in case it rained.  Our hammocks were actually quite amazing. Basically they have a box shaped mosquito net around them and the previous night Elvis had made an A-frame type watershed with plastic sheets above each of our hammocks so we would have been quite dry but going to the toilet at night was a problem.

Then in the evening we went to a lake nearby with the canoe to look at the famous Amazon Lily Pads. They're quite amazing because they are so big. The whole jungle landscape is of course completely amazing and unique and it's a true once in a lifetime experience. Especially since given the heat and the mosquitos you are not likely to want to come back in a hurry, at least I'm not.

On our last day we went fishing. First we hunted small fish with a spear. Basically you see a whole lot of bubbles at the surface which lets you know that there are some fish there and then you try to get as close as possible with the canoe before you launch your spear as parallel as possible to the surface because that's where most of the fish are. After spending the first hour or so unsuccessful I eventually managed to spear two little fish. We then used these fish as the bait to put on our fishing lines to fish for Piranha and Catfish. After trying a couple of locations without any luck we eventually found a shady little spot where they were biting and I caught a white and a red Piranha and Dave caught a Catfish. Good fun in all!
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photo by: Belluomo