Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Big Boat Ride

The other day I posted regarding my last two Amazon Jungle Jaunts, where I take people out to the deep jungle and we do some walking in high jungle while learning about local medicines, some swamp walking with ancient trees, some jungle medicines that include (for those who want them, never pushed on anyone) Ayahuasca, Amazonian magic mushrooms, and the indigenous Matses medicines, Sapo (aka Kambo), and Nü-Nü, a snuff. We also collect the frog with some Matses friends of mine, bathe in a beautiful tributary of the Amazon, eat ridiculously good and healthy food, laugh up a storm, learn a lot about life on the Amazon. Those dates are Jan 18-27, and Feb 1-10.
BUTTTTTT!!!!!! I didn't explain why they will be the last trips. Here's why: With the rate the jungle is trying to kick me out — whether it's dengue, septic spider bites, poisonous snake bites, flesh eating bacteria — coupled with my age, a measly 68, I only have a limited amount of trips left in me. Maybe 10, maybe 12, I don't know.
What I do know is that I have some legitimate exploration left to do, and that can't be done if I'm entertaining guests. I love guests, but this Spring, 2020, I'm gonna try to raise about $25 grand to find, rent, rebuild to my specifications, outfit a boat to take from Iquitos down to Leticia, and then up the Javari river, and into the Alto Javari and the Galvez rivers.
I'll have 7 crew beside myself, and I'm planning on the trip running about 42 days from setting off from Iquitos to return. Now this is a trip I've done twice, though they were slightly shorter trips at 29 and 30 days, so my ambition is up this time. And I've never gotten bored while piloting my own boat in the Amazon.
On this trip, 25 years since the last, i want to record for the record the changes that have occurred on the Javari since I last ran it. I want to return to the villages I collected medicinal plants from -- for a pharmaceutical house -- to see if the sons and daughters of the headmen from whom I collected plants are still working that trade. I want to revisit some old friends and make some new ones.
I'll be honest: I know this is a selfish expedition. But I also think it's valuable as very few rivers in the Amazon have a record that stretches 26 years. How much development has occurred? How much larger are the military outposts and the villages around them? How far have the indigenous villages moved and have any disappeared altogether?
I'm going to need a lot of money for this, and i don't want anyone giving up their lunch money or money they were going to send to the local food bank sending that money to me. I'm going to need angels, four or five or 10 who have capital and want to be part of something special. Who want to be there when it's time for the boat painting party in Iquitos, or spend the first 4 or 5 nights with my crew on the first leg of the journey to Leticia (where we'll drop you off and send you back to Iquitos with one of my team). There will be an accounting of every damned penny spent and people can hold me to that.
Anyway, I hope I can pull this off and that it will be the first of several genuine explorations that I will do before the jungle gets me for good, or I just get too old to do the work.
I just wanted to share that. Thanks. Peter G

Friday, October 11, 2019

LAST JUNGLE TRIPS COMING UP

What follows is absolute self-promotion, so proceed at your own risk. I'm going to be taking two more small groups into the deep Peruvian Amazon. The dates are Saturday, Jan 18 through the morning of Monday, Jan 27, and then Saturday, Feb 1 through the morning of Monday, Feb 10. The trips run $2200 US per person and cover everything but airfare and walking around money.
I've been doing these trips for 21 years and love introducing people the the Northwest Amazon, her rivers, her peoples, and her medicines. But I'm coming to the end of the line on them and it's nearly time to turn them over to my friend Devon, who has been apprenticing with me for several years. So these two will, in all likelihood, be my last.
So if you have dreamed of spending a night on a flat-bottomed riverboat heading up the Amazon beneath an Amazon sky, this is the time to join. If you have dreamed of being offered Amazonian magic shrooms, or doing the indigenous Matses medicines Sapo (aka kambo) and nu-nu with a Matses headman — as well as collecting those medicines with the same headman — then now is the time to join. If you would like to utilize ayahuasca in the same setting as I have been drinking it for 35 years with the nephew of my old teacher Julio, then now is the time to join.
This is not a trip to a luxury lodge. This is swamp walking, high jungle medicine walking, nighttime trips in dugout canoes, bathing in a beautiful tributary of the Amazon, getting plenty of dirt under your fingernails, and doing all that while having a rollicking good time.
If any of this piques your interest, you can message me or email me at peterg9 at yahoo.com and I can answer your questions.
Trips are limited to a maximum of 12 guests, and my crew will always outnumber my guests to ensure a safe trip.
The trip is not physically difficult, but it is the real deal.
Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Full Day, Doing Nothing

Full day, doing nothing. Today was a surprisingly full day, though it seemed like I didn't to anything at all.
Chepa, my ex, came by at 8 AM for coffee and regaled me and Devon with stories while I flirted with her. She left at 9 and I rewrote a story for Fort Worth Weekly that was going to press tonight.
Then a guest who was here at the house needed sapo, the indigenous frog sweat medicine, which always takes a lot out of me, and the Matses snuff, nu-nu as a follow up medicine.
I was pooped after serving the medicines.
Then it was time to go to the store to get food for dinner, came home, and the person who was staying here for three days for medicine had a friend show up. He was cool, but stayed for three hours, so there was some entertainment in the way of stories to provide. I did.
At the same time I was entertaining the new friend, I had to wash clothes for a speaking engagement at a movie theater showing a film about my work in the Amazon tonight in Fort Worth. So I had to figure out what I was going to speak about.
Then Devon and I went to the theater, I spoke in a meet-and-greet for an hour, then spoke to the audience for 15-20 minutes without notes, then came home.
I am tired. It's only 9:30, but I am tired.
Didn't do nothin' but did a lot. I hope I helped a few people along the way.