Friday, October 1, 2010
From the Amazon to the Nile
There's a snap in the air today along the south shore of Lake Ontario that shouts the arrival of autumn.
And that makes it all the more hard to believe that 11 days ago I was sweltering in the Amazonian jungle where this photo was taken during one of many hikes into the rainforest.
But with half a dozen new poems in hand and nearly 2,500 photos downloaded to my laptop, I know for sure I was really there...watching myriad tropical birds like white-throated toucans sweep over the canopy...gorging on the freshest fruits as well as sampling piranha for dinner, which tastes a lot better than it looks staring up at you from a platter with those saw teeth...meeting native children in their outback village smile back from the school window...touring the famous opera house in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas...keeping eyes out for pink dolphins, gray dolphins...relaxing on board the quaint MV Tucano...and NOT touching anything as I tramped through the forest to avoid stings and stabs.
Roger and I agree it's one of the top expeditions of our many, many. I put it as a tie for #2 with our voyage to Antarctica. Really hard to capture the AMAZing AMAZon in words. Or photos for that matter.
But here's a humorous poem for you! Like I said, it was hot. And steamy!
Defeat of the Amazon
I met the sauna primeval:
95 hot degrees of it,
95 degrees humidity,
clothes sodden from step one,
each footfall farther
a conscious caution
against the poison promises
of wasps, bees, those inch-
long bullet ants.
I tramped a mere two miles
but imagine mine
more Bataan Death March,
Brazilian-style, on a trail
of sweat, near tears, worn down
by a misery of fear
amid the fecund trees of thorns.
And come Tuesday, Roger and I head off to Cairo, where we'll spend three days before flying south to Luxor to board the MV Salacia for 12 days of cruising downstream on the Nile, stopping at many of the grand ancient wonders of the ancient Egyptian world.
More to come when we return on October 23.
Meanwhile...happy trails to all.