If you are a first time Amazon trekker and are wondering what to expect, here’s a little insight.
The day my partner and I arrived in the Amazon Rainforest it was raining heavily (it’s kind of something you expect), the mud was thick, and we had to trudge a long way through the thick forest to reach our camp. By then everything was wet, we had already had enough.
But as we stomped through the forest, with the wild sounds of the jungle all around, I started to notice really obvious similarities with British music festivals. Call me crazy, but these things were constantly drawn to my attention and pretty much got me through the five days in the Amazon.
OK, so the jungle is definitely unique – it’s beautiful, incredible and literally out of this world, boasting thousands of different species and ecosystems, and is the lungs of our Earth. I mean that’s pretty special. And on the other hand British music festivals pop up all over the country every year and are mostly the same: they have live music, hot street food and tireless revellers. But, despite those key differences there are also some serious similarities…
It’s all about the wellies
In the Amazon and at a British music festival wellies are the only footwear of choice. There is a high chance of rain in both the Amazon and in Britain and so to avoid losing your shoes in the mud you have to wear rubber boots – oh and a snake might throw itself at your ankles or a spider might bite your shin if you don’t! (that mostly only applies to the Amazon…).
Don’t expect to sleep much
Camping is the only way to sleep in the jungle, and it’s the only way to bed down at a music festival. And in both cases the chances are you will get little to no sleep… A British music festival never sleeps, party goers keep going all night and are thriving in their natural habitat, while in the Amazon creatures come alive at night, looking for their prey and taking advantage of the cooler climate – couldn’t be more similar, eh?
Your clothes will be ruined by the end
While you might bring some of your most “Amazon-y” clothes, a nice white shirt and hat for example, they will be ruined by the end. It’s a guarantee. You sweat so much and walk so much that your clothes do not stand a chance. At a festival your clothes may also be very well thought through, but by the end they are covered in mud and are pretty much ready for the bin. Still it was worth it for the “experience” right?
Going to the toilet is always an adventure
At a music festival entering the portaloo or urinal after thousands of other crazy festival goers requires bravery. You never know what you might find in there, and in what state the loo might be in. The same goes for the Amazon, but instead of people you have to wonder what animals have been in here? Or could be down there? Weeing on the ground in both places often feels like the safer option, just check the ground first…
You don’t want to miss a thing
Every step you take in the Amazon could reveal a brand new creature you have never seen before. But you have to look for it. Scheduling your time and speeding from place to place is integral to a successful Amazon trip, in the same way that at a British music festival it is vital that you catch everything you plan to… You rush from tent to tent watching the beginning and ends of acts you had hoped you’d see, and when you hear that song you’d been dreaming of the elation is unreal, just like when you catch a tarantula sturdily protecting its young in the middle of the night. There’s nothing else like it. It’s what makes everything else worthwhile.
Maybe not everyone experiences the Amazon like this, but for first time Amazon trekkers it’s the little things that we can grasp to get through the craziness of the trip. The rest of it is just far too overwhelming.
So if you are thinking of trekking, do it! If you’ve survived a British music festival you can definitely survive the Amazon.
By Charlotte Howell