Our final affair with the Amazon was of course to take a plunge in one of its tributaries. The particular spot was along the Yarapa River, a waterway located off the great Ucayali River. Victor assured us that this particular area was safe for swimming because the blackwater is uninhabitable for parasites and harmful bacteria. I later read that the river is also infested with crocodiles 😉
On our way back to the Queen Violeta, we spotted an entourage of black spider monkeys, capuchins and red howlers. They were all meandering in the same vicinity, which was truly a fantastic sight since different species are known to be territorial. Two coatimundis cautiously sniffed the ground below as the river flowed gently around us carrying clumps of organic debris that would eventually bring new life to its waters.
That evening, the sunset was especially gorgeous to admire from the boat. As we began to approach Iquitos, the vast landscape of trees began to dissipate in the distance. It was a sobering moment to know that I would soon be back in the thick of civilization. The wires, connections, deadlines and expectations would all be waiting for me back at home.
For some, the Amazon is a notion of wild, raw jungle that can be dangerous and unforgiving. This does hold true in many ways, but in my experience, all I can remember is the peace it brought me. To be so removed from the modern world was a blessing — no matter how short the journey — and there is a part of me that now lives with this sense of peace. It is always the memory of an experience that dwells within a traveler and forever changes the meaning of her life.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Maria is the Co-Founder & Editor of The Culture-ist. She has worked in print and broadcast media at companies such as: MTV Networks, Harper’s Bazaar, Warner Bros. and WOR News Talk Radio. Her work has appeared on National Geographic, BBC America, The Huffington Post, People, Stylelist and AFAR among others. Maria is a philanthropy buff and avid traveler who loves natural wonders, cultural food experiences and finding the remaining places on earth left undisturbed. Follow Maria on Twitter @MariaCultureist
Photos by Anthony Russo