Coming back to the jungle is like coming home; it’s returning to a place so natural to me that I feel like I was never far away. Arriving in Leticia has marked the beginning of a new adventure, of fulfilling an eternal dream that has consumed my imagination since I’ve had use of it.
And it really consumes me: the sound of the cicadas, agitated by the heat; of the frogs, announcing the rain is coming; of the jungle itself, so alive between the canopy of the trees and the mud on the ground, its vibrant colours flooding the senses.
For months, our arrival in the jungle was like a ghost that promised forgotten emotions; a spirit embodied in the form of a plane ticket, counting down the days and the hours, sometimes too quickly, sometimes unbearably slow; a spectrum that sometimes loved us and at other times scared us with its proximity.
Until finally it showed itself and there was no stopping it: the time had come to board the flight that would take us from the hypnotising Caribbean coast to the entrails of the Amazon, and to the unknown and promising Brazil—so far and so close, so similar and so different to what we know.
So here we are, in the deepest darkness imaginable; a gripping darkness as if from a dream, interrupted only by the occasional thunderclaps that break up the night with their bursts of light. Here we are, listening to the incessant raindrops change intensity, harmonising with the nocturnal animals who sing to the night, as if thankful for the water. Here we are, with only one certainty: that from now on, everything will be new. From today, every day will bring us new teachings, and new moments that we must find or let ourselves be found by them; a path to discover, hidden between rivers and deserts, between the jungle and the sea, which will lead us somewhere magical, beyond anything we could expect; of everyday life lacking routine and return.
Daylight pulled me from my dreams—already permeated by the jungle, by flowers and water—with strange new sounds and smells: the bubbling songs of the golden orioles, fish grilling over a fire, the steam that the Earth exudes. In search of food, we went to the marketplace in Leticia, where we witnessed human life in the jungle; we saw exotic fruits like the açai, and tubers like the local saffron; shiny-eyed fish with reddish skins, their scales covering the concrete floor; entranced by the promise of a cupuaçu popsicle—but only a promise since we were told its not in season.
And so the days pass by in the jungle: between the water that falls as rain and rises with the river; between the humidity of the morning and the not-so-cold nights; between heavy rainclouds and the smiling moon. And every moment brings us closer to the great Amazon River, a beating artery of the South American continent, bringing waters that are born in the Andes to its mouth in the Atlantic. We will follow its route until we reach the sea, that blue coastline that highlights Africa’s curves, that has kept its roots and songs and flavours.
Carrying all of our belongings on our shoulders—a notebook, a collection of spices and wooden spoons, and a couple of other things—we will go downriver on the dark waters of the river to continue discovering our path, and everything that comes once you let yourself be guided by your heart and your imagination.