My sister Carlota from Santa Fe has been in Peru and the Amazon for the last couple of weeks. We had not heard from her for a week and I sent her an email asking if she had been eaten by an Anaconda. Here is the reply I received when she flew into Cuzco for a trip to Machu Picchu. I thought it was timely after reading John Fleck's article on John Wesley Powell in the Journal this morning.
Well, I am alive, but I did see a giant anaconda! A guy had just caught it
in a village on the Amazon where we stopped to visit with the native
Spent the whole past week on a barge on the Amazon and on
smaller boats in the tributaries. The boat was great, but the trips up
the smaller rivers and some hikes in the jungle were so (expletive deleted) difficult
that I almost gave up. But I would do it all again!! The Amazon portion
of my travel was the hardest trip of my life, but I now realize how
everything is connected. Climate change will really screw up the ¨major
two Pacific Ocean currents, which will have an effect on the rainforest
(the lungs of the planet), which will be diminished, and that will affect
the whole world. Brazil is tearing down its amazonian jungles like crazy,
but Peru has made the entire Amazon basin a protected region and it's
huge! I have learned so much!
The Amazon Rainforest, which was very difficult to live in, has so many
flora and fauna....just magnificent and the River itself is almost
unbelievable! The volume of water and the heavy current towards the
Atlantic simply cannot be described!
I flew from Iquitos in the jungle to Lima yesterday and from Lima to Cuzco
this morning. Cuzco is sublime. There was a big procession here as this
is la Semana Santa-- Holy Week. Today it was the procession to honor
Nuestro Senor (Our Lord of the earthquakes). Tomorrow we go to some remarkable Inca ruins and then we are traveling to Machu Picchu where we will stay for a couple of days.
This week is my 70th birthday and it will be in Machu Picchu during the
full moon. It is all so thrilling!! I just can't believe I'm here. One
of my best adventures ever.