After my play-date with the monkeys it was time for lunch. One of the things that I most fondly remember about the eco-lodge were the huge gourmet meals they prepared three times a day. The food was incredibly fresh and delicious. I am certain I easily gained five pounds while I was there, though it was definitely worth it. The walk to the restaurant was lovely also, as I was greeted by both tropical flora and fauna.
The weather was so hot and I had a couple of hours before my next excursion, thus I felt a dip in some nearby natural pools was called for. Surprisingly, no one else was there when I arrived and it was quite a feeling to have the whole jungle to myself.
I lost track of time (how could I not with those surroundings?) and had to quickly rush back to my cabin to get changed for my next tour. We were scheduled to visit a local community that wanted to perform some tribal dances for us. I am skeptical of tours like this, because I feel that these indigenous people are paraded around in front of tourists for money. However, Alberto assured me that this community took great pride in sharing their customs and preferred this lifestyle. It was about a twenty minute boat ride to the village. Even though I have seen numerous indigenous villages throughout my travels, I have never seen one as uncultivated as this. Basically the only thing the village had was huts for shelter. I had more in my little suitcase back in my cabin than these people would have in their entire lives. And to be honest with you, I was almost jealous. I tend to feel overwhelmed at times with all of my belongings and would love to simplify my life.
The chief of the community had all of us sit around in a circle. He then introduced his village and then explained the meaning behind their dances.
Then the dancing began and I felt like I was being transported into the mystical world of the Amazon!
Of course, mid-way through I was picked to join in the dancing. I really did not want to participate, as I was incredibly embarrassed, however I did not want to be rude either.
Once the dancing concluded, I took some time to walk around the village and photograph it and its people in a more natural state.
What surprisingly happened next turned out to be the best part of the already amazing day. . .