View of the Jungle Through the Clouds
We finally set off for the three hour drive through the jungle. It was hot and stifling and then raining heavily and I think I drifted off, when suddenly we were stopped at a clinic where we were informed that we needed a 'swine flu check'. We waited and waited on broken chairs watching women and their children waiting too. Finally each of us had our temperature and blood pressure taken. I was worried that my cough would give me away, but I managed to get through the check up without incident. It took about an hour and three of us left before realizing that we had only seen the nurse and that the other truck's occupants were required to see the doctor and get questioned and interrogated and examined while we were waiting and wondering what had happened to our companions at the river's edge where we were to embark on the next part of our journey. Needless to say, we were delayed for a significant period of time.
Entering Huoarani Territory
The delays added up. Before long the sun was descending and we were traveling in the dark, further down the river and further from civilization. I was reminded of the Joseph Conrad novel, 'Heart of Darkness' and the movie 'Acopalypse Now'. We were charging down this river farther and farther away from the world we know, alone in the jungle, in the dark, The fireflies came out and then there was a massive downpour and we were wet and shivering and not at our destination yet.The boat slowed down in the dark and we huddled and shivered and prayed for an end to our misery. Finally we arrived at Shiripuno Lodge. There was no light and no electricity, we are truly in the middle of nowhere far from everything.
We found our rooms in the dark and used candles and flashlights and changed out of our wet clothes. Dinner was surprisingly good and we discussed our plans for tomorrow. We have had an adventuresome day and have traveled far and seen an incredible amount of wildlife and an entirely other way of life along the river. Our journey has been our adventure.