Early tomorrow morning I’m catching an early morning flight back to the Peruvian jungle city of Iquitos located deep in the Amazon rainforest. This was where my love affair with the jungle began nearly 15 years ago and where I always feel at home.
I have been trying to blog once or twice a week, but I think for this one week trip I’ll try to blog every day to share all the different things I’ll be cramming into my time in Iquitos.
A lot will depend on the usual internet speed in Iquitos and the surrounding area. Being so remote and isolated, internet access is as slow as I’ve experienced in decades.
An upgrade several years ago was supposed to help things, but I think the explosion of internet use has only created huge bottlenecks on the amount of data traffic than can pass. Internet speeds were considerably faster just a few years ago than they are now.
Why This Trip to the Jungle?
Besides seeing all my many friends there, The main reason for this trip revolves around filming in and around the city and the rainforest.
I’ll be working on a project for a short outdoor film competition. The theme for the contest is “Family” and I’m hoping to put together something really unique. While I have a feeling there will be a lot of films about animal families, I want to show the effects of modernity (climate change, logging, gold mining, and incursions of the outside world) on families living in the Amazon rainforest.
Of course, I have until the end of November to submit my film, so it could certainly change depending on how filming goes. I don’t have the months that big time documentary filmmakers have. Patience and time is usually the key to getting interesting footage, but I’m going to count on my knowledge of the area and the jungle to help.
And, on top of all of that, I simply love the jungle. The mysterious rainforest has captivated my imagination since I was a child watching National Geographic documentaries. Now I get to explore the jungle on my own.
And it never disappoints.
What I’ll be Doing and Where I’ll be Going
I hate to admit this, but, like almost all my trips, I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants on this trip, too. Still, I have some ideas of places I may visit.
I’ll likely spend a couple of days traveling down the Amazon River to the Colombia/Brazil border. I’ve never been more than about 60 km down river (and even less up river) so I’m sure there’s a lot to see. I’ll especially be looking for evidence of logging along the river.
I know of one place where there is a huge cut through the jungle so that power lines from Iquitos can go to a small refinery a short distance away that will be a priority. It’s also an area where I can easily access part of the rainforest deeper in the jungle.
I’ll also spend a day or two traveling up river to the small town of Tamshiyacu where some large illegal logging operations recently closed down by the Peruvian government.
There is only one road leading out of Iquitos that goes about 60 miles to another small town. The road to Nauta opened up a few years ago to cut down many hours of the long trip down the river. There are quite a few places along the road to hop out and head off into the jungle. (Once in that area I was able to film a river otter in a place where locals told me they didn’t exist!)
I may also head up river several hours to the rarely visited community of Genaro Herrera that will give me access to even deeper, more remote areas of the rainforest.
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