Life in the Trees
Life in the canopy of the forest while escaping the rising waters of the Amazon River, is the only other way to truly experience the wonders of this vast rain forest. 90% of all life in the rain forest is found in the treetops, so literally you are living in the richest plant and animal habitat on Earth when you stay in a private bungalow in the Treehouse Lodge. Every morning you wake up to the symphony of exotic birds and monkeys while in the comfort of your canopy bed in your gravity-defying treehouse home. Each of their 8 bungalows are connected by suspension bridges sometimes as high as 70 feet up in the trees and are each equipped with bathrooms, showers, comfortable beds, and electricity.
When we first arrived I felt like a kid again living out my dream of staying in a Swiss Family Robinson-style home. Each tree house has a giant tree growing through the middle of it and you have to climb a tower, walk across a suspension bridge, and climb a ladder through a trap door to get into your hotel suite. For anyone who loves glamping, this is the next best thing! Our suites did not have telephones, but we each had walkie talkie radios where we could communicate with the main lodge if we needed anything, which for me added to the fun and feeling of being a kid again. For us “city folk” our cellphones were rendered useless here deep in the heart of the jungle, but they made for great flashlights while exploring the jungle for wildlife during our night hikesJ
The Treehouse Lodge offered a completely different side to the Amazon than living on the water did. It was more rustic and you fell asleep to the sound of insects and woke up to the sounds of birds when they traded shifts. You found yourself living more with the rhythm of the sunrise and sunset and because we were so deep in the jungle, you could explore deeper into the narrow, shallow tributaries by kayak than any boat ever could. I found that I became a better piranha fisherwoman while living on land and we were not afraid to swim in that same water with the pink dolphins. We had more time to really enjoy the activities from our lodge. They even cooked up our fish we caught for dinner and served it with beautiful presentation at night before we would go out cayman spotlight hunting and looking for nocturnal animals.
I learned my new favorite Spanish word while hiking through a local village one day on our way to find a local shaman. “Oso Perezoso” which is their word for sloth and actually translates into English as “Lazy Bear”. Someone brought out their pet sloth which was rescued as a baby and it clung to me like I was a tree trunk and just hugged me with it’s furry face and perma-smile. I just wanted to take him home with me! Pablito, the sloth, became my new friend and salsa dancing partner.
We finally found Victor, the nearest medicine man the next village over, and he promised to come over that night at dinner to prepare us some local herbal remedies and give us a blessing. It was so magical to have tea and dinner and then be blessed by a shaman. We learned a lot about their local plants and how no one needs a pharmacy when you live in the abundant jungle. It was fascinating, but so was life in the trees. We realized that when we had less distractions around us, we paid attention more to our surroundings and saw life where it didn’t appear before. It was like someone turned on a switch and the jungle came to life.
What I learned from my week in the Amazon is how quickly we all adapt to our surroundings. I found myself starting sentences with ridiculous statements like, “Yesterday when I was piranha fishing…” and that feeling like a perfectly normal statement. I started recognizing sounds and animals and being in tune to nature. Instead of having a fear of animals, I found myself barefoot out searching for them. I was not addicted to my phone, or internet and I learned to live without it. Life goes on and is dictated by mother nature and there was a level of simplicity and beauty in that. I wish I could remember that feeling, bottle it, and take it home with me.
To learn more about how to charter a cruise down the Amazon River or stay in the Treehouse Lodge contact: Rainforest Cruises www.rainforestcruises.com