June 4, 2006
Remanso to Versalles Canoe Trip Day 16
The religious proceedings went on all last night again. It's tough to sleep with so much singing and fireworks, but the nights are long here, so I usually get enough sleep, even though I get woken up a lot. I'm not sure when the people participating in the singing rituals sleep, though.
After breakfast, Craig and I walked to the lake. Not surprisingly, we got some extremely conflicting information on the lake's distance from town. Yesterday, it was twenty minutes away, then thirty minutes, then an hour. Today, someone who had just been there yesterday told us that it would take two hours. It didn't really matter, though, because we had all day. We ended up getting there after one hour, but there wasn't much to look at. The lake was flooded into the surrounding jungle, so it wasn't possible to walk all the way to it. We returned glad to get a little walking done under the cool cover of the jungle canopy.
We decided to leave our canoe with the village instead of trying to take it any further. It only ended up costing us $33 each, and we all felt pretty generous after not having spent any money for the last two weeks. Hopefully the villagers will make good use of it.
With the boat to Guayara leaving tomorrow morning, we packed up camp and climbed aboard. We found a chess board in the bridge that should be fit for some entertainment during our three-day journey that lies ahead. The board only came with about half the pawns, so Craig and Gabriel constructed some new pieces out of wires and paper.
Five days was a very long time to stay in Versalles, but it allowed me to get a good feel for the small town Amazon life. The river creates an interesting mix of cultures and languages, but everyone still appears to get along quite well. Going to the party has been an all-around amazing adventure.