Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Amazon in Peru

A walk back from our plant studies and whom do we find feasting on the fruits?:) Why yes...it's Pepe:)
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The Oxbow Lakes where one can find the endangered Giant Otters

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So sorry about the video but it was my first attempt to start taping little events in life such as Pepe eating our food...it's crude but fun...no sound on these vid clips.
Inspiration from the wild and what I bring to my current garden:)
Butterflies on the beach and they LOVE clay soil!

Me and Pepe having a chat about taking a bath and stealing clothes at night:)
Closer and then he ran:)
Watch where you walk:)
Greetings all,
Look closely to see the Jaguar...it's called casmulaje:)

By night....oh the stars in silence surrounded by caimen
As I piece together journals from the past years, I begin to look at some of the things that help me form my "style" here in the desert southwest.  Today was a fantastic day.  It has rained non stop over the past 3 days and the air smells so wonderful....there is nothing like a desert rain.  I took at walk and listened to some great music around the neighborhood.....I'll have a post on my neighborhood down the road....it will be titled, THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY:) because that is where I live:) I always explain to people that I live between good and evil at the dead end of a road....we are kind of our own island. Okay...stay on track!!:)
The Tambopata River

The crew
My mind loves to wander and that is how I teach in my classroom.....talk about tangents!!!  The kids love it and I have to admit that it gives me a good laugh.....as I long as I get my work done:) Where was I??  Right my neighborhood:)  While I was working on the garden today, an older French lady strolled upon my secret garden and wanted to know if there any spaces available for renting. She loved the place and all the vegetation.....I was working on my cactus garden and trying to find the leak in my window from the rains. I don't know who she was but I fell in love with her....well not love...but I really liked her...the international type trying to make it in this dark world of ours.  She doesn't have a car and is 64 years old trying to get out of a neighborhood that turned bad...gangs, prostitution, drugs, etc, etc.  Her situation is characteristic of so many people today....you know the one....where you say, "At 64 I will have 10.5 grandchildren and a house made of gingerbread.", but discover that you are divorced, no grandchildren, stuck with dengue fever, and your gingerbread house was eaten by a pothead.  I'm a sucker for these cases.  We spoke for about 45 minutes. What struck me as awesome was that a person.....and a FRENCH one noticed my work and fell in love....it was a huge compliment and confirmed why I do this...not only for the love and what you leave behind stuff....but for people to stroll and smile and enjoy nature.....so it tells me that I am on the right track:) I hope that she finds a place to rent....we are a 16 unit condo property with one person selling currently....maybe she'll rent...who knows?:) So I gave her the info and we'll see if we have an educated international French woman on our property....oh yeah...she also served in the Peace Corps...nothing like meeting another PCV(Peace Corp Volunteer)....instant worldly bond:)
Our room without walls to the Amazon...awesome!!

Yummy Lunch
Okay Okay...you're saying this blog has nothing to do with the Amazon....it will:) Tomorrow I am going to jump on the roof and shoot some pics from the sky downward and post.  I LOVE what I saw today....but part of why I am doing this is to record the history of this property because every year it has been changing and like a dummy, I have not taken my "Before" pictures like most people do.....so my intention tomorrow is to do some shots of the grounds from above to keep track of the progress.  When I first moved into the property 3 years ago, we had dead trees all over the place and it was terrible....there was empty land with weeds growing all over surrounded  by rotted fences(which are still there!!!) Except the amazing 2 live oaks that somehow survived neglect for so many years....:) We had these overpaid alcoholics(yes they were....you should have smelled their breath!!!) come and rake gravel and blow leaves...no watering no planting no fertilizing....nada.  They would lie to me about things working which didn't.....so I just observed my first year and got very angry.  I was spending my own money and they were killing my plants!!!  So in January of 2008, I took the money and reigns over the property, fired the company, and started buying my garden tools that were recently stolen(that's another story!!).  I replaced old rotted wood with Mexican art and learned how to tile benches!! I had to fix things first before I moved forward if that makes any sense?.....so today, it's nice just to be able to go and buy plants and dig a hole instead of pruning trees that should have been pruned 20 years ago or cutting down dead trees and ripping out the roots....hiring people to do this is expensive!!! People freaked and complained that I was doing more damage because I was cutting down their favorite dead yew tree....yes I wrote dead:)  Apparently our irrigation system worked as well.....and I have yet to see any water come out of it:) Moving on....
Catching Piranhas on the Oxbow Lakes

The Amazon????  Almost there......I'm on summer break and therefore have some "fun" time on my hands to blog so don't think I am a complete nerd who sits at his computer all day...I don't....most of the time:) And I need to recollect things to keep this in a log for this property in case anything ever happens to me....I will be able to die comfortably just knowing that "Las Aventuras" is there for them to read.....of course, they will probably die of boredom from reading it:)  Okay I need to close my boca and talk about Peru.
My perfect breakfast with monkeys in the background

The boat ride to our site...wow!! 6 hours!
Peru is amazing and as the blog suggests, there will be 4 parts to it as there is much to see in this incredible country.  Too much to cover in one blog and  never have I seen such crazy zone change in one place.  You could be freezing your butt off in one part and several meters away, you are in the balmy rain forest.  Yes that's true...I am not lying.  I hiked the Inca trail up to Machu Picchu and I was just dumbfounded by the climate change...so there you go. You have to see it to believe it!
Los Gatos waterfall from a distance

Sunrise in the Amazon. Notice the mist rising from the forest floor!
The Amazon is something you should see before you die or before it dies.  Sorry but I am a pessimist in this area....I believe the world is going to get worse before it gets better.  The Amazon is shrinking and all you need to do is take a boat ride to see it happening.....it is so hard for me to watch.  I am very much a part of the natural world and watched several animals there trying to escape humans in a river killed illegally.  It was hard to watch....so let me stick to the positive:)  I flew from winter Cuzco into sunny jungly Puerto Maldonado.  You see ice glaciers for miles and miles...and then clouds and then you descend from those clouds and you see nothing but rain forest for hundreds of miles...no cities....no people and as far as the eye can see.....heaven amidst chocolate rivers surrounded by an enormous green emerald.....there is nothing more stunning than the Amazon.
Path out into the jungle

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Nice on a hot muggy day:)
The Walking Tree....like from Lord of the Rings...this is real stuff people!!
This was my 2008 trip for one month and I discovered that things like caladiums and other tropical beauties do well in my Tucson...with a little water and mostly in pots and in more shade than sun....and out of frosty winter nights:)  In a post back, I showed everyone some inspiration that I had in Peru.....that pic is uploaded here for your viewing pleasure.  The Amazon is everything people say it is.  You need to go for inspiration, soul searching, or just simply to relax. You will be taught about the plants and how the farmers work within the Amazon to produce things like bananas, or the Brazil nut(they argue it should be called the Peru nut), mahogany wood...those trees are HUGE and sadly many are cut and sent down the river to mills for production.

In closing, something amazing happened on this trip.....Pacha Mama(their version of Mother Nature...and P.S. They really do believe in her...no joke...I did and they didn't think it was funny) allowed me to view the very elusive Jaguar.  Never in my life did I think I would see this sacred animal.....but I did and I hope you do as well because nothing is better than seeing a live, free Jaguar in the wild as it was meant to be.  Happy Gardening!!
At our Lodge...no walls and all critters of the night came to visit including a Howler monkey who stole stuff out of my backpack:)  His name was Pepe!

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Los Gatos with a friend

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