Skip to content

Dia 149 – Ethan Evans – 29 de Julho de 2015

August 21, 2015

At this point, I will again catch you up on everything that has happened since my last post. Everything seems to be happening at such a rapid pace now that my stay here in Brazil is drawing to an end. I am writing now from a hostel in the north side São Paulo; Jake and I just arrived here today.

First thing’s first. I have to describe our trip into the Amazon Rain Forest. I was obsessed with the Amazon when I was a small child, and the obsession never really faded away. (My mom has hoarded all the children’s books that fueled the fire of obsession.) Taking a tour through the jungle hadn’t even crossed my mind until two of my Belgian friends, that I got to know at Chapada dos Veadeiros, mentioned to me that they were doing just that. My first thought was “You can do that?;” my second thought was “I need to do that.” Long story short, after saying a final goodbye to our roommate Omar, Jake and I flew to Manaus (the capitol of the state of Amazonas) earlier this month, and the next morning we took a van ride and a speedboat ride to a lodge on the Urubu River (a branch of the Amazon River) and began the adventure. I will try to keep it short.

The first day we went dolphin spotting, piranha fishing (which we then ate back at the lodge), and searching for caimans (similar to alligators). I got to hold a baby one, not to mention see the most beautiful view of the stars I have ever seen. The next day we woke up at 5:30 and took a canoe ride out to watch the sunrise. We then embarked on a three-night trip into the jungle with only what we could carry on our backs. We slept in hammocks in two different campsites. Our company consisted of Jake and me, a Belgian family of six, and our two Brazilian guides. The next day we took an eight-hour total hike and saw more wildlife than I imagined we would. We saw a bunch of macaws, a big spider monkey (which comically did a double-take when it saw us), frogs, some very large ants, and a stick bug. At one point we came up to a tree that was completely covered in tiny ants; our guide said you could squish them on your hands to make a natural bug repellant. I think we all thought he was joking, until he actually did it… He put his hand up against the tree and was immediately covered in ants. He then quickly smashed them all over his hands and arms, with a sly “See?” Some of us, including myself, tried it too; it was one of the strangest sensations I have ever felt. Although, I didn’t kill them all quickly enough and got some bites in between my fingers.

I will try and wrap it up here. The next few days included seeing an even larger group of macaws, a huge tarantula, and a small monkey; more canoe rides through the flooded forests; and getting chased by the largest cloud of bees I have ever seen. Yes, I loved every minute of it. We even made our own blowpipes that work surprisingly well. I cannot explain in words what it feels like to be in a place like that, to lay in a hammock in pitch darkness and be enveloped by the sounds of the jungle. It made me feel more human than I ever have before.

After returning to Brasilia and spending only one night there, Jake and I were off to the other end of the country to the city of Foz do Iguaçu. The city itself was pretty “touristy,” but it was all worth it once we witnessed the waterfalls. There are many ways to measure the “size” of waterfalls, but based on width, the Iguaçu falls are the fourth largest in the world. I have never seen anything like them. For the three days that we were there, we went into the national park to see the falls every single day. Walking along the Cataratas Trail (over a kilometer long parallel to the falls) is breathtaking already, but once you reach the Garganta do Diabo (or Devil’s Throat), you really understand the depth and power of the falls. Also, you get soaking wet. All the time there were coatis scampering around through the crowds of people. I had never seen wild animals more accustomed to humans before.

The highlight of my time in Foz do Iguaçu was a powerboat ride that was on par with the dune buggy ride in Natal. It was like the same thing but on water. Jake and I were strategically placed in the very front of the boat, so we got the bumpiest ride. We were steered right up to the waterfalls on the Argentinian side of the Iguaçu River. It was like staring into the sun; we could hardly open our eyes because the spray was so powerful. The boat drivers seemed quite skilled in giving us a wild ride and getting us, yet again, soaking wet.

Now for the bitter sweet part. Yesterday was our last day in Brasilia, so we had to say goodbye to all the Brazilians and other exchange students that we have bonded with. Jake and I went to Agua Mineral (a natural swimming pool in Brasilia) with two of our Mexican friends, played at Pinella with Jon, Bruno, and Eudes for the last time, and had a farewell party. It is a strange experience—getting so attached to so many people, and then never knowing if you will ever see them again.

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: