The Amazon Jungle

Alright! So we spent about three days “deep” in the jungle (as deep as you can go in such a short time, which isn’t very). Saw lots of beautiful plants, birds, lizards, etc, as well as piranhas, a cayman alligator, and plenty of buggies.

Here are some of the plants and scenery.
Mushrooms:
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Natural red dye:

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I think this was cupuacu, where good
white chocolate comes from:

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Cashew fruit (unripe):

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Sugar cane:
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Acai (pronounced a-sa-ee):
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We stayed in the lodge one night and in the jungle one night. We saw rosewood trees, Brazil trees, trees with anti-malarial and anti-parasitic properties, and more. And at night we heard armadillos and howler monkeys!

The first day we went canoeing through the flooded forests and, later, piranha fishing. There were some really cool birds’ nests hanging over the river.

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Going through the flooded forests is interesting. Boats don’t exactly fit super well between trees! And hearing short trees scrape along the bottom of the boat is mind-boggling. It’s a forest… Full of water. There are meters of tree trunk below you! Also, apparently that’s the best place for piranha fishing. FYI NJD says they taste good but are awfully bony.

We also explored the lodge:

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Future roof:

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The next day we walked through a manioc farm to the jungle.
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This is where they keep small fish alive for a few days before using them as piranha bait:

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How pineapples grow:

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That afternoon we hiked into the jungle for our overnight. Learning about the trees was cool. One grows so big many tribes just cut it and hollow it for a canoe instead if starting from planks! Also, unlike the US, they manage to get regular healthcare – even in rural Amazonian communities only accessible by boat (and then only in rainy season when the river is high). Local doctors make sure to visit each community at least once a month, free of charge. Doesn’t help in emergencies, but great for preventive care. Anyway, I just found it neat that they work so hard to get care to remote people.

It rained a bunch and these mushrooms showed up overnight!

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Our guide made a nice dinner:

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Apparently if you hear footsteps while you’re sleeping, it’s just armadillos…

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