Of all the activities Juma Lodge provides, my favorite was the jungle walk, a serious hike through the Amazon Rainforest. The breathtaking flora and fauna, the steamy nature of the air around you, the wild views of dense tropical rainforest reaching stories high above your head to the fallen leaves under your feet. It was – in one word – BEAUTIFUL. Leaving the lodge by boat, we ventured to a new part of this dense forest. I loved when our boat would enter into the tree canopies; it was like entering a magical world full of natural secrets. We started by clearing the path through the jungle with a machete, then learned how to climb Acai Trees like the natives by making rope out of leaves, how to communicate far distances with a stick and a tree, that Babasu Gongoin (beetle larvae) tastes just like coconuts (and according to our guide, Bill Gates loved them on his walking tour!), and how to separate palm leaves in order to fold them into forest crowns. Not your typical Monday activities in Manhattan!
After a refreshing swim at the end of our hike (remember it’s like 100000% humidity) we had lunch cooked over an open flame and took a dip to cool off. That evening we went fishing for piranhas which later became part of our family style meal. The journey to get here, the monkeys, and being forced to disconnect from the rest of the world will put this place, deep in the heart of the Amazon, forever deep in mine.
and FYI- Manaus is only a 5 hour flight from Miami, what adventure you take from there is up to you!
Above, communicating through vibrating sounds with a stick and a tree. Below, a native fruit that expands in your stomach to give you the illusion of feeling full… ummmmm best diet idea ever?
Below – the best way to repel insects is by having them crawl on you first! They taught us that you can allow the ants to crawl on your hands, wipe them off and then your skin smells of natural insect repellant, similar to the smell of OFF.
Above, eating beetle larvae! Below, Kevin shakes out a palm tree so that we may learn traditional weaving which can be used to make baskets, rugs, whistles, jewelry or in our case- forrest crowns!
Above, learning how to make rope with leaves. Below, tying it around your feet in order to climb a tree to gather fruit.
Above, our travel companion Gaby cools off after the hike.
Above, heading out piranha fishing in a Maiyet dress.
Kevin puts his spear he whittled on our afternoon hike through the rainforest to use…