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.