J: Jungle Walk to the Kapok Camp

J: Jungle Walk to the Kapok Camp

J: Jungle Walk to the Kapok Camp

One of the advertised highlights of this Amazon River exploration was the opportunity to camp overnight in the  jungle.  Since I am not a hardy out-door type by nature, and camping is not my preferred travel accommodation, I was not so sure that I would feel safe in a jungle tent. During my pre-trip reading I seriously considered taking the offered alternate option of returning to overnight on the boat.

But when the day arrived, I thought that it would be the height of insanity to travel to the Amazon jungle and let my fear of biting insects, scorpions, mosquitos, moths, giant butterflies, snakes, spiders, hyperthermia and dehydration, keep me from this "miles-out-of-my comfort-zone" experience.

On the afternoon of the third day we were taken by skiff and then catamaran to the starting point for our hike to the Kapok Camp where we were to spend the night. We were given thick leather protectors to wear over our boots and told to keep them on at all times.

It had rained earlier. The mud was thick and slippery, the heat and humidity intense.  Luckily our guide stopped frequently to point out flora and fauna of interest.  From a medical perspective I was particularly interested in  a hollow branch-like structure that contained a liquid that reputedly is an immune-system booster.

Our guide also showed us  a pod that contained a nest of grubs that the natives of the area eat to prevent gastrointestinal upsets. Only one member of our group was brave enough to eat a grub- here is the video to prove it .. and he was the only one who never got the dreaded gastro-intestinal upset.

After what seemed like hours because of the heat, we came to a series of 8 suspension bridges leading to the Kapok Camp.  Each bridge could sustain the weight of only 4 people at any one time so we were sent out at short intervals. Anyone familiar with the computer games Myst and Riven? I felt a bit like I was on a search for the secrets of Atreus.

Once we reached the camp we were assigned individual tents each with an adjacent outhouse area. No toilet seat - half squatting required. Well - at least it wasn't a pit in the ground, and I was not wearing a suit with stockings and high heels as in my Thailand toilet story... another day!

To keep this A toZ blog post and Monday's one a reasonable length, yet still tell the story of this excursion, I am adding a link to my story Amazon River Expedition: Kapok Camp Hike and Suspension Bridge System. And will do the same on Monday's post.