''GOOOOOOOOL'' screams the football narrator as Peru's national team makes a goal and Peru is leading the match against New Zealand and gets its first chance in the world cup in 36 years. Time to celebrate! The night continues by several cheers and the atmosphere in Miraflores, Lima seems like a carnival has just started. you can see white and red, the colours of Peru everywhere. It almost seems like it would be a crime not to wear a shirt with the logo of the national team and ''Guerrero'' written in the back. The fun and the celebration continues until the next morning, however, I have to hurry up back to my place, get my suitcase and hop into uber and drive off to the airport. The day that I have been waiting has come, I am going to the Amazonian rainforest!
At 7 am me and my 6 friends met at the departure hall of Jorge Chavez International airport, full of excitement of the upcoming trip. We boarded the flight to Iquitos, a city in the department of Loreto in the middle of the Amazonian jungle.
Iquitos is an interesting city as it is the biggest city in the world that isn't connected to other cities by land. Therefore, the only way is to arrive by aeroplane if you don't want to take a boat along the Amazon river for many long days.
Once we arrived at Iquitos and got off the plane, a warm humid air welcomed us and I certainly felt that we are far away from cloudy Lima. Our guide was waiting for us at the parking lot of the airport and once we had loaded the trunk with our backpacks we took off to the centre of the city where their office was located at.
As we had a couple of hours to kill before our boat would arrive to take us to the jungle where we would be spending the next 4 days, we decided to take a tour around the city.
There are a few things worth seeing in the centre such as a famous Iron house which is rumoured to be built by the famous French architect named Eiffel (yes the one that built the tour), as well as, the boulevard next to the river where you'll have a great view of the river, a wrecked ship and where you can do some handicraft shopping.
After a nice walk in the burning sun, we decided to grab some fresh mango slices and coconut water to refresh our minds. After that we took mototaxis to the harbour and did some last minute shopping for the jungle, I had to get a flashlight and I was ready to go!
We boarded to a small boat where we met Miguel, our local guide for the rest of our trip. As the boat was loaded with our stuff, food such as fruits and fish we could say bye to Iquitos and start our journey to the jungle along the Amazon river.
The boat ride took around 1,5 hours until we arrived at a small village where we had to walk to the other side of the village and get another boat along a smaller river called Yanayacu. Another hour or so and we arrived at our hidden jungle lodge alongside the river.
The place where we stayed was a bungalow style settlement where we had our rooms for 3 or 4 people and a common area for all the guests where the food was served and where we spent all the evenings laying in the hammocks and talking about the things we did during the day. There was no WiFi nor phone signal which was very refreshing and detoxing! We truly could connect with each other and the nature around us without any modern-day distractions.
For the following 4 days, we did a lot of things in nature. I was actually surprised how many different and unique activities one could do in a jungle. Here are a few of the things we got to do while our jungle getaway;
WALK IN THE JUNGLE One of the first things that we did when we arrived at our lodge was a walk into the jungle. We put on covering clothes, a lot of repellents and jumped into rubber boots and we were ready to go.
As we started our walk we passed by some amazing looking plants and trees that I had never seen or heard of before. One of the coolest trees we came across were those with long spikes growing all over it. Unfortunately a guy who had gone on the walk just earlier in the same morning had accidentally fallen into one of those spike trees and had several scars on his knees, so as you go you should be extra careful.
I had always imagined moving in the jungle to be hard. But oh boy, there was a lot of things to look out. Watch out not to fall into random holes full of muddy water that are covered by the huge leaves laying on the ground. Watch out for the snakes, they can bite. Watch out for the spikey and poisonous trees and plants...I could keep going.
It was such a strange experience; at the same time I felt scared for my life and kept repeating ''watch out for snakes'' inside my head. (If you didn't already figure it out, I am dead scared of snakes). But at the same time, I couldn't stop thinking how amazing it was to actually be in the Amazonian rainforest. It seemed so full of life! You could see movement everywhere you watched. Little insects moving pieces of brown leaves to their nest, mosquitos trying to suck us dry, beautiful birds singing their lungs out and monkeys jumping from tree to another.
We saw a lot during our 2-hour walk. We came across a herd of Amazonian birds, monkeys, frogs, lizards and many others.
I also thought I'd die. As we made our way through the jungle a friend behind me screamed ''SNAKE!'' and the only thing I could do was to freeze and start to look for the snake from the ground. The scariest moments were when I really couldn't see where it was due to its' camouflage colour. Soon our guide, Miguel rushed to see what was going on and once he noticed the snake he asked us to stay calm and move back with calm. ''It is the most poisonous snake of the Amazon.'' - Well great. Miguel took his machete and hit the snake so that it wouldn't get a chance to bite anyone. He then explained that once the snake bites, you'll start feeling ill in an instance and there are chances that you won't survive the bite if you don't rush to a hospital immediately. Luckily nothing happened to us and we could continue our walk until we arrived at our lodge to rest and process all the things we saw.
Everyone who has been watching Tarzan as a kid (why not adults too) has imagined how fun it would be to swing from liana to another. Well, in the Amazon rainforest you can try it yourself and get back to your childhood memories and pretend to be the king/queen of the jungle. Our guide brought us to a enormous tree where he tied us a self made liana. He would catch a hanging part of it and give us speed so we could fly through the jungle. Let the photos speak for it.