Monday, May 16, 2011

The Jungle Adventure

This past week the kids were on school holiday. In the year and a half that we have lived here in Lima we have not traveled more than 2 hours outside of Lima and we were desperate to get to know this beautiful country we lived in. We only had 3 days and we were graciously given some funds from some friends of ours so we started planning. We talked about a lot of places but kept on coming back to the jungle.
To avoid writing a FOREVER long post... we decided on going to the high jungle called La Merced. I packed an entire pharmacy, warm weather clothes, cold weather clothes, did research, packed snacks and on Tuesday morning we were off. Our friend Gaby, who is living with us right now, came with us for a family jungle adventure. The kids were SO excited about seeing animals, mountains, waterfalls etc...
With all the preparing we did, we were NOT ready for several things-
  • The 4 HOUR detour we took which turned a 7 hour trip into 11 hours
  • Maddox throwing up into his cowboy boots, Sofia throwing up because she watched him and then not too long after Liam throwing up all over his clothes, the front dash and Lee & I (projectile.)
  • The hotel restaurant not being open because of "sewage problems"
  • Driving late at night and being told AFTER we arrived that it's extremely dangerous to travel after 8 where we were because large groups of people wait on the side of the road, pierce your tires or form a roadblock and assault you. Cool real cool, we arrived at 10:45 PM!!!
  • Lastly we were NOT ready for the absolute beauty that surrounded us when we woke up Wednesday morning. We were completely surrounded by jungle trees, a clear blue sky, warm air, birds, orange and coconut trees and pure nature!
We seriously had one of the most memorable trips ever. Our kids had so much fun swimming in the waterfalls, visiting a native village and participating in a cultural dance, eating different foods, staying up late at night pillow fighting with Gaby, going from sea level to high altitude cold and sleet to warm jungle and just being all together. It really was a trip I will never forget.

We left a day early because of trying to shorten our trip home and decided to take it slow on the way home (not getting lost really shortens a trip:) We got to stop at a butterfly farm that the butterfly part was actually closed but the lady showed us some different animals and we got to hold a monkey. Maddox found an old plane that was hung up by wire and he got in while Lee pulled the rope and took him high and when he let go the plane zoomed down the zip line. They even got super muddy but it didn't matter, we were just having fun! We stopped at a little Italian place and got the biggest surprise EVER! We were eating and all of the sudden I hear "Stephanie!!!" It was a lady from the shanty town (Gloria) that we have worked with a lot and she had come into town because her father was really ill. We talked for a while and caught up, that was SO cool! I mean really? Small world...

The people of the mountain towns and jungle villages were so sweet and so simple. I realized that more than even the people here in the shanty towns of Lima, they are so secluded from everything. Their resources so limited. So many were just waiting for rides on the side of the road and kids were playing with rocks and having a blast. I loved the simplicity and the tranquilness (is that a word?) of the jungle. I did though see so much poverty and my heart was tweaked once again. The things I complain about or the things I wish for....makes me want to slap myself sometimes.

Here are some pics and videos of our adventure, enjoy!

1 comment:

Valerie said...

I love the photos of the waterfalls. I'm so glad your family had a great vacation adventure! :)