Remember that girl who backpacks in dresses? I found out recently in Iquitos, Peru that she is not made for the jungle. But she did have a great time attempting to survive the past week with Amazonia Expeditions.
The Tahuayo Lodge is one of the most unique lodges I have visited, and I’ll write more about it in a future post. Right now I want to elaborate on how un-hardcore I am when it comes to jungle survival.
The first day of our trip our guide Josias picks us up from our hotel and when asked where he was from, his reply was, “I’m from the jungle” in a very Chuck Norris type of way. This was my first hint that I was in for an interesting week!
Going into this week I was ready to dominate the bugs, and conquer the heat. There was nothing stopping me from showing off my great jungle survival skills and walking away with my own new shiny machete.
What jungle survival skills?!
I grew up in the suburbs. I have been blessed to always have more than enough food on my table, a sturdy roof over my head and air-conditioning. So back to my lack of jungle survival skills. The past week has been one of the most educational and fascinating trips of my year.
In case you were unaware, the jungle is hot and really humid. Josh and I walked around in pools of constant sweat while we joked with Josias for not once breaking a sweat in the 6 hours of hiking. The packing list said to wear long pants, so I wore my long black tight running pants. Apparently I missed the memo about mosquitos loving the color black and being crazy enough to bite through tight pants. My legs were a buffet during our treks through the jungle, but that didn’t stop me from being the tough jungle woman I wanted to be.
The only skill that might possibly help me survive in the jungle?
Fishing. I caught some big fish during our trip, which we later cooked over the fire.
The only thing is…someone else has to bait the hook, retrieve the fish after I have pulled it out of the water and then complete the proper “cutting strategies” to make sure that it is no longer alive. Next, I need someone with me in the jungle that can cut the fish open, take the guts out and clean the fish in order to cook.
Bottom line? Just because I can get a fish to bite the bait while I sit on the boat means nothing when it comes to actually eating the fish to survive.
The Jungle Survival Skills we
We walked for hours through the jungle where I was quickly turned around after the first big tree. Josias hacked his way through thick bush and tree trunks, while I tripped over my own two feet and grabbed a prickly palm tree which left its spine in my finger.
Josias tried to teach us how to walk through the jungle as to not scare away the animals. Our big gringo footsteps snapped twigs and rusted the leaves with every step, while Josias slid through the jungle without a sound.
We drank from vines and ate fruit from the trees while we explored the jungle, but I doubt I would bet my life that I would find the right vine/fruit again.
Josias climbed trees to retrieve palm fruit, and we helped gather them until the massive wall of sweat bees found us for staying in one place too long. Josias built a jungle backpack out of palms to carry our fruits home while we swatted and ran in circles to escape the bees.
We built a fire, and lit it with matches…I am sure if I am ever lost in the jungle I will have a pack on me.
We went spear fishing at night. Josh could actually do this and did catch a fish. I on the other hand did not have the rage in me to push the spear through the poor, innocent fish. We spent a while looking for an ugly enough fish for me to spear…we never found one. Another skill failed.
Between cute nocturnal fish, swarming sweat bees and oppressive jungle heat I found myself conquered by the Amazon jungle. I wanted to believe I could be jungle-tough, but I think I’ll stick to long-term travel, busy city tough. 🙂
By the end of the week we had seen some fascinating animals and had experiences I could have never imagined. Walking through the Amazon jungle was surreal and although I may not be able to cut it on my own, having Josias with me made the trip unforgettable!
Could you survive the Amazon jungle?
Disclosure: We were sponsored guests of Amazonia Expeditions. All opinions, fears and funny stories are strictly our own.
If you had read (maybe you did) The River of Doubt, by Caroline Alexander, you’d know what to expect. It tells the story of how Roosevelt (former US president) and his son almost died in the jungle trying to keep up with Marechal Rondon. Worth the reading.
Even though I was born in Rondônia, a brazilian state inside the jungle that was named after Rondon, I don’t think I would have an easy time doing this trip either.
Put on jeans pants and try again! 🙂
best for you guys
Josh Eaton says
Thanks FFF, we haven’t read the book but will add it to our list. We came away with quite an appreciation of the jungle guides and their skills.
My favorite part of this would have been watching you. Never heard piranhas being described as “cute” before…….LOL.
Was Josias rolling his eyes? 🙂
At least you looked cute in your shirt from Thailand!
Josh Eaton says
He probably was rolling his eyes at us. 🙂
I see true terror in those eyes!