Peru: Rhythm of the Amazon

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Every morning the Amazon wakes me with a new symphony. One day the tempo of the rain, next day the pulsating sounds of howler monkeys, and today it’s the electric strain of sunrise matching the beat of my heart.

Even with little sleep, the rhythm of the day has me fired up with what lies ahead. Granted, a cup of coffee would help the process but the Amazon found a solution to this as well by placing a large spider and her web inside my bed netting to jolt me awake.

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Hiking along the riverbank, I can’t get over how natural this place feels. The jungle and river give off energy – a rhythm – in tune with every movement of my body. I feel transformed, in sync with my surroundings.

All this beauty is not just seen through my eyes, but felt with all my senses. I’ve found my way back to nature.

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Years ago, I wrote about my time in the Masai Mara. A place very foreign compared to where I was born and raised, but during my stay I felt at ease as if I was home “… jumping into the life of Kenya, time slowed down and I synchronized with the culture around me. It was as if I had returned to a forgotten home. Being where I should be. Feeling alive.”

The Amazon has created similar feelings; the rhythm of this foreign land matches my own.

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“There is a curandero (shaman) in my village who has a very special relationship with this land.” Joaquin, our guide, tells us while showing a plant used in local medicine. “This shaman understands the energy of the plants, of the jungle, of life – and when we are not right, he helps us recover by harmonizing our energy with that of the Amazon.”

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Logical. This philosophy follows the same thread of truth as the ancient Hindus who saw all matter in the universe as energy. The same logic physicists understand today, as Einstein, Tesla, and others state: all matter is energy. We are simply vibrations and frequencies at the atomic level.

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The nervous laugh of our guide wakes me from my quantum daydream. “We have a small problem…” ahead lies what appears to be a lake but should be our trail. “We can circle around this, but it will add a few more hours… or if you are adventurous?” he asks with a nervous glint in his eyes.

My senses ignite. The idea of wading through Amazonian waters, uncertain where our next step will take us ~ now this is what I signed up for. To make the day more perfect, the skies open up and the downpour begins.

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Nature should be surrendered to. Battling things beyond our control allows negativity to destroy the day. Amid chaos, find an interesting alternative and run with it. Resist the urge to try to conquer everything. There is an underlying rhythm and if noticed it will bring peace and a smile.

Everything at the atomic level generates a unique vibration, a rhythm, and getting “in tune” to your surroundings creates harmony and makes it easier to find balance. These are moments when life seems easier and “luck” takes over.

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Rhythm ~ laughter from the group at my expense when I venture and forge my own route where, of course, there can only be one conclusion: water pouring over the top of my boot.

Rhythm ~ artistic patterns of life; from the extremes of the Amazon canopy stretching out to infinity, to the incredible micro-scenes that dot the floor of the jungle, I could stare at both the whole day.

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“Everything is made up of energy, each giving off their vibrations,” Joaquin muses over a local beer our final night in the jungle. “If you wish to better understand the energy of the Amazon, I can make an appointment with a curandero for you next time if you wish.”

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“There is a drink called ayahuasca, made from a mixture of an Amazonian vine known as Banisteriopsis caapi, a hallucinogenic drink which medicine men use to see the energy of those they heal.”    

“With the help of the curandero, it is possible to connect more closely to the natural world.” Joaquin takes a final sip and adds, “This is where you can really understand the pulse of the Amazon.”

While I consider this option, this place alone is all I need to understand the sounds and feel of nature. The Amazon speaks directly to my instincts, the core of who I am.

“Vibrations and frequencies at the atomic level is how we communicate with the universe.” Never have I felt more comfortable with this theory.

Watching the river and jungle from above, I breathe in the fresh, humid air. I’ve no idea what fermented air smells or tastes like, but this is the most apt description I can give. The air both feeds and accentuates my hunger for the jungle.

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On the boat heading home I wonder if I will be able to call on this connection to nature when needed. To find those moments when I flow with my surroundings, find the potential of the day and let go.

I’ve learned a lot here: the rhythm of life, the rhythm of the Amazon, the rhythm of Perú.

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The Amazon is an amazing part of Perú, a great place to explore. A quote from my sister, Sandi: “Travel with you is not so much a vacation as it is an adventure.” I think it is a compliment…

Throughout our trip, one thing held true with all the great people we met along the way: one smile can spread into many smiles ~ and life becomes infinitely beautiful.

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293 Comments on “Peru: Rhythm of the Amazon

    • 🙂 Thank you, D., wonderful to hear from you and hope all is going well. Nothing quite like a great smile. Cheers to a great weekend.

  1. Randall Collis, your pictures have an “other worldly” quality and your observations are spiritual. On a more materialistic note: What was your route from Lima to Machu Pichu? Was the journey difficult/ dangerous/ uncomfortable? I am curious, because may be one day I wantto visit Machu Pichu AND see the Amazon river!

    • You would like Machu Picchu very much, we went from Lima to Cusco and spent some time there and then went through the Sacred Valley (Maras and Moray) before taking the train to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. I’ll do a write up on Machu Picchu soon I hope 🙂 Cheers and happy travels ~

  2. Hola Randall, another fantastic read! Contemplating your insights and taking in those pictures is like food for the soul I find. Love how you referred to energy, vibration, and rhythm as core-components of life. The Amazon seems to be a truly transformational place! There are some natural settings that just seem to bring us closer to the truth of who we are, I guess. You mentioned your stay in the Amazon and living with the Masai Mara for a while as such experiences, if I understood you properly… I feel I might have had a similar experience when I spent some weeks in Shark Bay, Australia, living amongst camels, dolphins, pelicans and incredibly let´s say high-vibrating nature/ beaches and bushland. Have you ever been to Australia? It´s definitely yet again a place with lots of transformational potential and incredible, ancient land. Glad to have found you and your blog, it resonates with me on a very deep level! Thanks for this beautiful post! Have a great day:)

    • Hola Amiga 🙂 , there is not a better feeling than arriving at a place and immediately feeling like you are a part of the scene. I’ve never been to Australia, and my friends from the States have told me not to go – because they think if I do I’ll never leave ~ and your words/experience share the same thought 🙂 One day, hopefully the near future, I can head Down Under and see all the beauty I’ve been hearing about. Wishing you a great weekend, we have some sunshine in Czech with a bit warmer weather so it is starting off well here. Cheers ~

      • Thanks amigo, yeah Australia will certainly take your breath away with its powerful presence and incredible nature! I am a PR of Australia and love that part of the world to bits. Will post some more posts on Australia in the future and hope it will serve you as a little Appetizer:) Hope your week continues with sunshine and ease:) Hugs

  3. My mind is so out there these days that I cannot remember if I commented on this post before. Certainly, I would have whenever I would have read it first. Your images and words are always well crafted and beautiful on both descriptive and emotional levels. I suppose it is the emotional or spiritual connections you describe in places you go that make it all so special and interwoven. Your posts seem to remind me the way I feel about things sometimes and helps me pick up the thread when I seem to have lost it. I like to think of connectedness on the atomic level as at least all organic creation is made of the same stuff.

    I like that leaf with the long-legged bug and the angle of light with the shadow of its limbs stretched out on the textures of that leaf.

    I am into the 8 reales coinage of South America, South Peru in particular…I need to go there!! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Peru: Rhythm of the Amazon – Little Strings of Poetry

  5. Hope all is well with you and your world
    know you and your stories you pen, through the lens are missed
    Take Care…You Matter…


  6. I missed this post. I think you posted it in March of last year and we were travelling in Japan at the time. Superb photos Randall, most especially the one of the flock of macaws. What an exciting moment that must have been. And wonderful narrative. I know what you mean about energy. I too felt the rhythm of the jungle when we were in the Amazon – as if everything was intimately interconnected and that not one plant or creature could survive without all the rest of it, as if the jungle itself was One. Such an extraordinary place. The other place that my feet have walked where I truly felt as if the land spoke to me and I was one with it was in Australia’s Top End. Another extraordinary place.

    • I just read a book about Theodore Roosevelt’s journey down the River of Doubt, a section of the Amazonian jungle, and it was such a perfect read about the tenacious beauty/danger the Amazon holds. So much energy there, and very cool to hear you enjoyed it there as well. Thank you, Alison, and wish you many more safe travels 🙂

  7. How true, nothing quiet like a smile. Amazon has been itched such to i am sure many a people whom wild loves to call. It will be probably one of those days, if it calls- life might start looking like out of wishes whatsover. Some images of yours took me there. Thank you.

    • Isn’t it amazing how when traveling, you meet and see people with such genuine smiles ~ I think this is one of the biggest attractions to travel, especially out of the way places. The Amazon is one of those places that never can be tamed, it is so wild and powerful. True it can be destroyed by industry, but never, ever tamed. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring and intimidating place I’ve ever been. Thank you, Narayan, wish you a great autumn ahead.

      • Something like this with your experience, this word will carry me; so huge and invisibly strong. They can never be tamed 🙂 wish for you as much Dalo. Stay well, stay near trees.

  8. What stunning photos. As I browse photos of the world (as an armchair tourist at this point) I’m convinced that there isn’t a single part of this glorious planet that isn’t sublimely beautiful. ❤

    • This year has been one of dreaming of places to travel, and I agree, every single “corner” of this planet holds something special ~ how I’d like to see it all 🙂 Thank you for the nice comment.

    • French Guyana ~ now there is destination 🙂 I’m getting restless from all the daydreaming I’ve done this year, so now is a good time to begin mapping out future destinations & dreams… 🙂

      • For the time being my fondest dream is to have an 8 km walk tomorrow ! Fortunately, weather will be cold and sunny !
        Many thanks, Randall, and best dreams to you.

  9. Reblogged this on Mitch Teemley and commented:
    My Featured Blogger this week is Randall Collis of Global Sojourns Photography. I know little about Randall, except that he seems to travel the world. And along the way he captures some of the most intriguing and exquisite images I’ve seen anywhere. Randall posts these photos on his blog site, along with his observations about life and philosophy, and has captured quite a few followers, as well. Visit his site and you’ll see why.

  10. Wow! Thank you for that amazing trip to a truly enchanted place. Your adventurous spirit is infectious.

  11. After experiencing the Amazon through your photo essay, I think I understand it better than I did before. I love those red and blue birds in flight.

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