Lying in a hammock in the amazon jungle


Updated: May 08, 2024Veronika Larisova

Last month, I finally checked off a decade-long dream from my bucket list: kayaking through the legendary Amazon jungle! It was a wild adventure with jaw-dropping biodiversity, winding waterways, and unforgettable encounters. Get ready to hear about the thrills, challenges, and best moments from my epic Amazon escapade.

After stumbling upon a tour company online, my friend Angie and I decided to inquire about private customised kayaking and trekking tours through the Amazon jungle in Brazil. We exchanged numerous emails, and everything seemed set. However, little did we know that our readiness was merely an illusion, all because we allowed our assumptions to take the wheel.


Assumption #1:

So, get this – I totally thought I could skip packing a water filter because it wasn't even on the list. But boy, was I in for a shock! Turns out, the guides expected us to guzzle water from these jungle streams that smelled like animal poo and had all sorts of floaty stuff in it. Yuck!
But hey, we had to make do with what we had. We got creative and used Angie's clean socks as an impromptu filter, and then we boiled the water on a good ol' campfire. I was a bit doubtful about this whole sock-filtration thing, but fingers crossed!
Guess what? When we got back, I decided to get tested, just to be safe. And you know what? No parasites! Can you believe it? Sock-filtering for the win! Who needs fancy water filters anyway, right?


Assumption #2:

As we scrutinised the tour schedule, it appeared that kayaking wouldn't be too demanding – just a few hours in the morning and a bit more in the afternoon. Well, that's the case if you happen to be a young, fit, and energetic male! But here's the kicker: it took us more than double the estimated time to complete the kayaking segments. To our horror, we later discovered that we were expected to cover a staggering 150 kilometres in kayaks – almost left us feeling like we were facing our demise!

Deep in the heart of the jungle, phone reception was non-existent, leaving us utterly stranded without any way to call for assistance. We mustered up the strength to push through, managing to cover 120 kilometres before we reached a breaking point. Desperate for a solution, we ingeniously packed ourselves and the three kayaks into a tiny tinny boat. The four of us embarked on a five-hour journey to reach the next checkpoint.

Imagine this – kayaking through raging storms and menacing lightning, all while gripping a metal paddle for dear life. Talk about a nerve-racking experience! But you know what they say, the most unforgettable adventures are the ones that push us to our limits. And this wild kayaking escapade was undoubtedly one for the books!


Assumption #3

When I inquired about bringing food for the trip, I received reassurance that there would be an abundance of fresh jungle food and that I wouldn't need to pack anything. Naturally, I assumed we'd be fishing, hunting, and foraging for some delectable jungle fruits. However, to my disappointment, every meal turned out to be a repetitive affair of rice and beans, doused in soybean oil, and accompanied by some truly amazing plantains. We tried to fish for piranhas with zero success.

Sure, during our stay at the lodge, we were treated to some mouth-watering dishes (including piranhas), taking a break from the kayaking and trekking part. But once we ventured into the jungle, it was back to the same monotonous rice and bananas. Thankfully, I learned from my previous Kokoda experience and didn't entirely give in to this assumption. I had the foresight to bring along a stash of Chief collagen bars, beef bars, and biltong, and let me tell you, they were absolute lifesavers.

I got creative and mixed the biltong into the cooked rice, making it more nutritious and enjoyable, and the collagen bars became my go-to snacks and desserts. As for breakfast, the beef bar was our trusty staple to kickstart our day. The entire time, my mind was buzzing with memories of trekking Kokoda, which eventually led to the creation of our very first Chief bar. It's funny how past experiences can shape our present decisions, saving the day when we least expect it!

To sum it up, next time you decide to go on a fully off-the-grid adventure, learn from my mistakes and pack these:
- Portable water filter
- Solar-powered phone charger (not that we could make phone calls, but handy for photos, journaling and music)
- The whole Chief range. At the end of the day, that’s what our products were originally made for.
- A small bottle of olive oil.
- Kindle so that you can read after dark.

Despite not packing the above, we truly embraced the jungle life like real adventurers! We slept in hammocks high up in the trees, feeling like modern-day Tarzans swinging above the forest floor. Our guides crafted handy spoons from wood and fashioned cool fans out of palm trees to keep us feeling refreshed in that steamy jungle heat. I rocked the same clothes and socks throughout the whole journey, only busting out the spare pair when it came to filtering water – gotta keep those impurities out, you know!

I have to say, it was one wild adventure, and we wouldn't have had it any other way. Living simply and making the most of what nature provided added a whole new level of excitement to the trip. It's amazing how little we truly need when we're out there conquering the great unknown!

When it comes to adventure holidays, Amazon has got to be among my top three trips, right up there with the exhilarating Kokoda trek and exploring the ancient ruins of the Great Wall of China. These experiences are the epitome of thrill-seeking and exploration, making them unforgettable adventures that will stay with me forever.


Veronika Larisova 
Co Founder 

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