Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 25

Some of our morning adventures involved running around Mama Roja with Marcelo, looking at new and interesting mushrooms that are growing in the jungle:
These ones look like acorns to me, with little flower petal bonnets:
The ferns here are so delicate:
These little parasols, so tiny, so cute! Perfect for fairies, I think.
The mosses that grow on the trees here are all so beautiful and lush...
Today is a bit of a different day because it's Friday, so we have the day off, but we're leaving tonight to go to Iguazu so we have to get all packed before lunch. I've been working on this prayer flag for Keren before she leaves... finally I finished it!
Today we were supposed to go to Chakra Suiza, a sustainable farm nearby with lots of cool ideas and much to share, but with all the rain we decided to postpone it so that we get the most out of our experience there.
This was a bit of a blessing in disguise, and Alvaro led the rest of the menfolk (and Sasha) on the farm in building a quick makeshift sweat lodge with bamboo and tarps and stones.
They heated the giant stones, and dug a hole in the lodge to put them in. They covered the floor with guembe leaves and ginger flowers, gathered various herbs (Rosemary, lemongrass, and eucalyptus) and used them to throw herb-scented water on the fire and all of the participants. Because of tradition, I chose not to enter the lodge today. Marcelo said we can do it another time though. Each session was 15 or 20 minutes long with a break between for bathing in the river. Most people did 3 rounds, and when Sasha finally emerged she said she felt invincible, tingly, and never before so clean in her life. I remember that feeling fondly.

In lieu of entering the sweat lodge, Keren and I watched Estrella Azul as she slept in the hammock:
and I found this cool snake! It was all bronze and shiny with a thin black stripe down each side... and incredibly fast and wiggly...
Here is a map of Mama Roja that I drew... if you click on it, perhaps it will be big enough for you to read...?!!
After the sweat, Kim took us into town where we bought bus tickets, and we sat down for dinner snacks and wine...
We had cheeses, pickles, membrillo (quince paste), Dulce de batata (sweet potato jelly-like thing that taste vanilla-y and delicious), prunes and raisins, and salamis. We laughed a lot too...
And then Kim dropped us off in town. We had quite a bit of time to kill, so naturally we decided the best place to go was the casino.
We sat and had drinks there, and then headed to the Esso for snacks and coffee...
(The infamous Frutigrans, our favorite cookie... They are delicious, and good for you too! We know that because we buy them at the healthfood store, they are made by 7th day adventists, and they contain things like chia seeds, flax, and dried fruit disguized in deliciousness. We may have eaten too many though...)
We played in the parks, and watched the moon...
And then we returned to the casino to bowl before re-claiming our bags and heading to the bus station.
The walk there in the cool night air of 3am was silky smooth and peaceful. The quiet night was punctuated by out chatter and laughter, and the occasional passing car.
I fell asleep while we waited for our 4am bus, but it finally came. We crawled into our seats and curled up into little sleeping balls for as long as possible. I threw my waterproof pack cover over me for warmth and slipped away into dreams.

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