Caroline Trippel – 8/22

The morning started at 5:15am with a 1hr 45min boat rod to a lodge where we had some breakfast and then began the canopy walk! The canopies got as high as 115ft off the forest floor sometimes and I’m terrified of heights normally. What seemed to help was that we couldn’t really see the ground due to all the foliage and the nets on the bridges were high enough. Normally I’m paralyzed with fear when it comes to heights but I did alright this time around. The views were beautiful and we saw an exotic bird! The guide knew how to call for it. It was called a mannequin bird; it was small and and fat and fluffy and flew eye level. The males are vibrantly colored black, red and yellow. A male flew to a branch following our guide’s whistle and we got to see him very close! After the canopy walk we were shown a bunch of medicinal plants by 2 Shaman who were very kind and who also let us try and then buy some of their samples. They also spoke some of their native language that I got to take video of which I thought was really special. I love languages. I bought something from them called Dragon’s blood which starts out as a deep thick red and when you rub it on your skin it turns a white/flesh color and has anti-itch/inflammation properties. I also bought a vial of salve that smells like Greece to me. I volunteered for a healing/relaxing ceremony with 5 other of my peers and he put this same salve on our palms and smelling it took me straight to Greece and conjured memories from when I was there for my honeymoon 5 years ago. They also had samples of ayahuasca and a cream that I would describe like icy-hot that is used for rheumatologic pain. They then showed us how to use a blow gun that the tribes use for hunting and we got to try it. I was not very good but I wanted to keep practicing. I also got a temporary tattoo of a bushmaster snake (most poisonous in the region) with dark ink they use from a fruit during ceremonies. We also met a capybara named Charlie who was large and sweet and purred when you pet him. He liked attention. We also got to see some monkeys and lorros (like parrots). After this we headed back to the resort for some swimming before dinner.

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