Afternoon sun on the Amazon, 2014

PictureKayaking in Tanimboca, 2014

Stepping off the 8 person john boat, after a day on the Amazon, I feel slightly jovial about emerging unscathed. Somehow during our two hour journey back to Leticia, I fell asleep- head bobbing back and forth against the top of the lifevest like a loose X. The fear of falling into the chocolate oasis of anacondas, piranhas, and 18 foot pirarucus obviously did not concern my subconscious. I only had awoken when I heard the tiny sounds of glee from the 60-year old Colombian abuela. And there it was- a grayish-pink dolphin fin came jutting out of the water. 

Like all isolated tribes and maniacal suburbanites, the Amazonian tribes have their own folklore and belief system. The Ticunas in particular believe that the divine pink dolphin (Bufeo Colorado) impregnates women in the night. 

Leticia is nicely nestled between Peru & Brazil, creating a conglomeration of cultural encounters. Under the blazing morning sun, we ran from Colombia into Brazil along the heavily trafficked main road without so much as a blink of an eye over the border. Most Amazonians choose to run at night when the city is quieter and the exhaust and heat have diminished. Even under feet of rainwater, scooters fill the roads in the morning hours, packed on tight with crates of eggs, babies with helmets, and multiple schoolchildren. After the abrupt storms, water sprays into the chests of fellow commuters, knees remain submerged and the city becomes alive again. 

Even after the night’s heavy rain continued well into the morning, the ground continued sipping up the rainwater. Deep into the jungle nearby, I was suspended 200 feet up in the air gradually hosting myself higher and higher up for a canopy tour. Unlike the typical American zipline where one climbs a ladder, we worked our way up the rope with our grips- the smell of Reptileo exuding from our pores in the humid air. Above the trees, the cooler air blew through and the jungle seemed impenetrable as the sounds of birds resonated off the treetops. The noise of the changed quickly once we got into the riverbed in our kayaks. Insects echoed- blared- like sirens. 

The Brazilian Portuguese and cachaca can be experienced hand-in-hand with Peruvian ceviche and Colombian patacons. I chased down the irritation from mosquito molestation with caprihanas muddled on the cliffside of Tabatinga. The sun set behind the coast of Peru, seemingly pulling the clouds with it.

If you go:
Amazona B&B (Letiicia)
(I wouldn’t recommend a dive- having shelter from the rain entering your room at night keeps one from insanity. Enjoy an indoor hammock and the excitement of cold showers.)
Casa Selva Hotel (Puerto Narino)
– You’ll have to get a boat ride there to stay on the bountiful, colorful island

Great fish to eat while you’re there: Dorado & pirarucu
Tierras Amazonicas Carrera 8, Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia
El Santo Angel Dorado a parilla

Aguardiente, caprihina 
Comara (Tabatinga Brazil- best place to see  the sunsetl)

Tanimboca: canopy (dorsel) tour and spectacular rustic accommodations in a natural reserve
Pre-arrange excursions so they can get enough people together not to bail on your reservation.
Isla de los micos: I recommend skipping. Monkeys simply just molest you for about 15 minutes before you go to the next stop.