|Hunger- Old Ways New
I've never really been
one to make a fuss about creepy crawlies, they always seemed so small
and harmless when I was a child. However, now that I'm a grown up they
seem to have changed a little in size...
Thinking nothing of the small hole at the end of my hammock, I tied
the mosquito net at the bottom and I lay listening to the forest around
me. As I relaxed, I visualised what our new camp might look like from
afar - 12 giant cocoons dangling between the trees somewhere in the
middle of the jungle, miles and miles from anywhere. It was a wonderful
vision ... one that sent me drifting off into a deep, deep sleep.
At around 4'clock I was catapulted back to life by a horrific realisation
- little hairy feet where tip-toeing across my face. A fist size wolf
spider had come to snuggle in....(apparently very poisonous) It honestly
rates at one of the nastiest ways to wake up in the world ... worse
still, I spent a couple of scary minutes trapped inside my 'cocoon'
desperately trying to untie the knot ... I was within milli-seconds
of ripping my way to freedom when Roberto came to my aid.
This morning we loaded up and set off from camp at 8.30. Yesterdays
traumatic experience of edging through the rapids at a snails pace with
our tiny replacement engine straining against the current, convinced
Roberto to try to fix the larger 40 horse power. With the oil pump's
'membrane' broken (a pump filter) he searched for a suitable piece of
rubber to replace it. It is funny to think that a small piece of rubber
that Jay bought from a transvestite in a seedy back street of Londons
Soho (to make waterproof covers) now vibrates at high speed inside our
re-'vamped' engine... who would have thought.....
The journey towards Amotopo lasted all day. The jungle in this area
seems so full of life in comparison to further downstream. As we travelled,
a veritable parade of wildlife passed before us.... On the river bank
- A Caiman (a member of the Crocodile family), lazing in the afternoon
sun stayed motionless, as we pulled up along side (see video); in the
skies above, Macaws, Yellow Tailed Weaver Birds, Herons, King Fishers
and Woodpeckers glided by; in the trees; the sharp eyes of our Amerindian
Captain noticed the outline of a lazy grey Sloth clinging to a branch.
Our most frequent sight along the way were the Capuchin, Black Spider
and Howler monkeys swinging from bough to bough .... Of all the wonders
we saw today none can compare to the sight of a family of Giant Brazilian
Otters (endangered species) swimming across the river. On seeing them
coming our crew simultaneously started calling out to them .... Although
they are from different tribes, the call was the same... something like
an Indian war cry (woo, woo, woo, woo) designed, so I was told, to get
their attention. The Otters, about six or seven in number, reacted by
bobbing up out of the water and squeaking. The strangest thing was that
the noise the guides made was totally unlike the Otters own call. (there
is a small section in today’s video)
Four days ago we where supposed to rendezvous with a small plane on
a jungle airstrip close to a place called Amotopo...The only real problem
associated with this delay is that all our supplies have run out....
There is no food and two days to go.
Hunger is a powerful force... It side steps the sensibilities a person
would feel, under normal circumstances about hurting other living things
... When you’re hungry, really really hungry, food - finding and
eating it, reverts to being a primary drive, your main concern. Today,
as we made our way towards Amotopo, twelve people looked out with hungry
eyes - Suresh scanning the tree tops gun in hand, the Captain, Basha,
Roberto and Aweti also casting a eye...
It is a hard one to explain, but in basic terms ... It doesn't take
stealth and agility to hunt down a steak in a supermarket ... It is
easy to forget that the conveniently wrapped meat for sale on the high
street actually represent animals that someone somewhere had to kill.
In the forest, so close to nature, it is a different story, an intimate
integral part of the cycle of life... Why am I saying all this?
It's 7.55... we have arrived at a deserted camp at Amotopo on the banks
of the river, overlooking the falls...a black tarantula is above my
head.... bats whirl about in the darkness just beyond the golden glow
of a fires flames, squadrons of armour piercing mosquito's are attacking
from all sides....Its alive out here. ... I feel like a ripe strawberry
that's been dropped into an ants nest...
It's the end of another day... a magnificant day ... full of hunger
and beauty. Behind me the fire is burning, a pot bubbling away ... what’s
for dinner chef..... ........ monkey! Think I'll pass.
Todays Video is rated PG15!
Old Ways New Weapons