Playfull summer evening Peru

Playful summer evenings

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There are these summer evenings, which remind me of those very special summer vacation evenings, when I was a child. Those, when we were allowed to play outside until the sun set. I simply loved those evenings and thinking back to these times, I can still feel the excitement and freedom I felt then, the warm wind on my skin and the power in my body, which made me feel as if I could just keep on playing and running forever.

When I saw the kids on the above picture in Iquitos, Peru, playing at sunset, it put me exactly back to these times when I was young. This endless energy to run and play around, is something I only felt as a child. I rather kept on running than going to bed. Today I really appreciate going to bed and after a certain time of exercise I am really looking forward to relax. I wonder were all this childlike energy has gone, who has taken it away and how to get it back.

Maybe the energy has changed and we can get a different kind of very healthy energy by just consciously enjoying these powerful summer evenings.

Reading Knots

Knots telling ancient stories

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Believe it or not, but this is not just a normal necklace, it is a unique, around 5000 year old way of communication of Incan ethnic groups – Quipus or “talking knots”.

A Quipu is a language, based on a numeric ten positioning system. It usually consisted of up to 2000 colored, spun and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair. Depending on the type of knot and its positioning, Quipu specialists could encode statistic information about inhabitants, soldiers, animals, properties or even historical events. When handed over to such the expert had to be informed though, what topic it was about to then read the numeric information.

Quipus are seen as evidence, that language derived from numeric and accounting systems. The Ethnic Museum in Berlin presents the biggest collection with 298 Quipus.


Iquitos: Experiencing pureness in the jungle

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Before I travelled Peru– I had never been to the jungle. I loved all books of Sabine Kuegler (child of the jungle) and was eager to experience the jungle feeling she described. At the age of seven, she and her German family moved to what is now Papua New Guinea to live among the Fayu tribe. The Kueglers were the first white people the Fayu had ever seen.

When I arrived in Iquitos, a city in the middle of the Peruan Jungle, I knew I wanted to do a jungle tour which is not touristic, yet save. I met a guy, working for the my hotel, who had been living in the jungle until he was 18. I did some day trips with him to find out, whether he was trustworthy to accompany me. He asked his uncle to borrow us a boat, bought food for a couple of days, some boots for me (which were far too big ;-)) and a backpack.

He took me with this boat across the Amazon River into the jungle. We were walking through the heat of the jungle with 15 kilos on our back. Along the way we met some of his friends who either carried fruits from here to there or even one who wanted to hunt apes (the guy with a gun and nife on the picture above). They did not really talk. They all were in a special mood – relaxed, neither thinking nor worrying about anything. Not very happy nor unhappy. After a couple of hours we came across a little hut, where we stopped and he cooked a meal for me. I remember that the lemonade – just made from water, lime and sugar – was the most refreshing drink I ever had.

For three days we did not do anything else, but walk through the jungle and experience it. We drank from lianes, took a bath in the river at night and listened to all the animals around us. I would have never found my way back as we were so deep in the jungle. After three days of walking without thinking anything special I felt renewed. Re-energized. Re-made. Everytime I went to any jungle area afterwards, I regained this feeling.

Thank you, Sabine, for introducing me to this far out world. If anybody wants to join this feeling without buying a flight ticket, get yourself Sabine’s book and fly away with it.

On the way to Rio Maranon, Peru

Rio Maranon: Adventure trek in northern Peru

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My Peruan friend Avicha told me about the fortress of Kuelap. It is a cultural Chachapoya site in northern Peru. The Chachapoya, also called the warriors of the clouds, were an Andean people living in the cloud forests of the Amazonas region. Unlike Machu Pichu, hardly any tourist visits this site, since you have to organise a private tour. Public transportation is quite dangerous and can take an unpredictable while.

As I desperately wanted to go there, I walked around Cajamarca to find a guy Avicha was travelling with years ago. After a couple of hours, I did find this guy, who organised a driver and introduced himself as my “private” guide. The track to the site goes on dirt roads along the Maranon River delta, a side river of the Amazon River. These three days were one of the most breathtaking days of my travels. I highly recommend this experience to anyone travelling Peru.

As we were driving up and down the hills, nature changed completely every hour. Within these three days we saw only about six cars. We were nearly the only ones on this track. The road was very bad and it was exhausting to always bounce up and down. But when we got out of the car, there was nothing but silence, nature and breathtaking views.

These three days tought me that life is a journey, not a destination. But without the destination, I would not have started the journey. This amazing road you can even find on Google Earth (Can you find the turn on the road on the google map?)