Not everyone is brave enough to go rummaging around in the forest looking for waterfalls, with no trail. Although there are some who actually get a thrill from the unknown and it's freedom, and we are those crazy people. For us waterfall hunting in primary rain-forest is exciting. Although there were some dodgy moments, like when Leticia saw a very scary snake, which must have been a boa restrictor; and other times when we had to use the trusted Chumbe (Kechua Lamista belt) to get up and down from the mountain. At some points, we did feel a little scared and some points when we just didn't look down. Can you remember what it felt like when you were a kid and your friends made you do something slightly dangerous, like climb a large tree? Well, that is what searching for waterfall Anakiwi felt like to us. As though we were all seven years old again, bruised, tired and working on adrenaline - brilliant!
Village farmer forest Tambo, a customary escape into the wild.
We came across a Tambo in the forest, where we met a farmer. He was on his way to fixing a camping shelter for tourists, a dream that has not quite realized. Don Angel offered to help carry a ladder. As we go on these adventures we can gather valuable information on how we can help to develop tourism, in the area, that can directly benefit local people. The shelter is situated in a sweet area close to a river pool, for swimming. Maybe we can offer camping to tourists or even artists looking for quiet inspiration.
A farmers small Tambo in the center of the forest. Farmers usually have places they sleep in while they work the land. They also have houses in the village. It's an amazing way of life to have this escape in the forest.
Don Angel carrying a ladder through the forest for a local farmer, so that he can build a shelter for camping.
These hidden waterfalls in the Amazon are elusive.
Don Angel had a distant memory of the waterfall when he came across it years ago. As he didn't want to get us lost he thought the easiest way, was to follow the river. Which turned out to be, not such a great idea. As we had to cross the river over twenty times, our wellies now full of water. Then we reached a part of the river that was impossible to climb, so we had to backtrack through the forest, it was really steep.
There was no getting past these rocks, time to climb.
Life is a journey, not a destination.
At one in the afternoon, Leticia and I were starting to get a little worried. The waterfall was nowhere in sight and there was no sound of thundering water. Don Angel was convinced around every corner that the waterfall would be waiting for us. Unfortunately, in the end, we didn't quite make it. Leticia and I were getting a little worried about walking through the jungle forest in the dark. So we decided to give up - to Don Angel's disappointment.
On the way back we followed the forest upwards away from the river. At some point in all my tiredness, I remembered being a native hunter running through the forest, looking for food. Don Angel said we had found the trail, where the Kechwa Lamista communities go searching for animals during big festivals. We had seen many wild pig tracks along the way. So we had found the old path. We will follow the indigenous hunting tracks, on our next adventure searching for Waterfall Anakiwi.
Follow this blog and we can reach the magic waterfall together. Come Searching Off-Track with us, we are waiting for you.
Leticia, Don Angel and I, so relieved to have made it to the lookout tower of the Cordillera Escalera. We were wet with sweat and the river, with holes in our trousers from going downhill on our bum. So, So happy!