Amazon tales and Things that Bite

I wrote this little poem about a trip to the Amazon Rainforest following my Inca Trail trek in 2012. The pictures are better than the poetry, which I wrote in the airport in half an hour.

Off to the jungle the six of us went
We had huts to sleep in instead of a tent.
No chance of freezing to death this time
Though no guarantees that the sun would shine
For now’s the rainy season, you know
It’s going to be wet but the altitude’s low.

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The intrepid explorers set off on the bus
Through treacherous mud we only just
Made it unscathed to the tiny port
The journey there was a little bit fraught!
Then up the river on a boat we rode
And finally arrived at our jungle abode.

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No electric power in the huts at night
We had to read by candlelight.
In the main lodge they did have some light
But even so, it was not very bright.

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On a walk by night on the local trails
We saw lots of insects and some giant snails.
While avoiding stepping on the army ants
Vinay saw a beetle and was scared out of his pants!
Throughout the week we played various japes
Especially on Lena who was frightened of snakes

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Long sleeves and trousers became de rigueur
It’s not just at night that the insects appear.
And unless you smother yourself in Deet
You’ll find a mosquito biting your feet.

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Early to bed and up at first light
We had walks in the jungle and a boat ride at night.
We took trips on the lake in a dodgy canoe
To see all kinds of birds and piranhas too.
You can throw them crackers and biscuit crumbs
But keep your hands out or they’ll bite off your thumbs!

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We saw macaws and monkeys, tapirs and frogs
And a couple of caimans disguised as logs.
On a visit to a farm we tasted the fruit
Bananas, guanavana and yuca root
And many other fruits that only grow in Peru
I wouldn’t touch the noni juice if I were you!

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On the third day it was very wet
That someone would slip was a guaranteed bet
It’ll be no surprise that this award holder
Goes to the author who dislocated her shoulder!

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After waking up as the sun was dawning
The walk that day made a very long morning
But even so, we all laughed when
Lena had eaten her lunch at half past ten!

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At last the jungle trip came to an end
I mustn’t forget to mention our friend
Omeida the parrot who sits on your arm
If he pecks at your head you should try to stay calm
He doesn’t mean to hurt you, you know
It’s just his way of saying hello.

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