Expedition to the Amazon Black Lagoon: Page 2

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Expedition Photography Adventure to the Black Lagoon:


This petroglyph, from the Urubamba River, is primitive "vision writing" created by early Indians of the area.
Urubamba River Petroglyph

Far to the east of Cusco on the Alto Madre de Dios River, but nearly the same distance from Cusco as the Urubamba petroglyph, another petroglyph has been found. With shaman readings from these "vision writings" a road map to Enowapi has emerged pointing to a remote area at the convergence of the Madre de Dios and Blanco rivers.

Our journey here is to the Blanco River of the Amazon lowlands to survey several oxbow lakes, lakes formed generations ago by the shifting waters of the majestic Madre de Dios River. Our journey to the Black Lagoon, Camungo lake, and Blanco Lake.

It would take extraordinary events, and more than luck, to find Enowapi, gateway to one of the Amazon's most guarded secrets.

the Black Lagoon Manu Peru  
Bon BonBon Bon is an Indian of few words. Raised in the Amazon jungle, accomplished hunter, tracker, and guide, self-taught craftsman, and now a champion of protecting wildlife and the beautiful natural areas of his home. A man of few words but a lot of action.

I first met Bon Bon in 1998 as he was our jungle guide on the Pongo de Mainique Trek. During our adventure on the Urubamba River Bon Bon and I became friends, swapping jungle stories for city stories, and experiencing new tall-tales together. So it was not really a surprise that Bon Bon would again play a major role in my Amazon travel. I just did not ever expect he would provide a lifelong dream of mine: to Explore the Amazon Black Lagoon.

It was 1954 in a matinee movie theater in Clearwater, Florida. Screams screeched through the projector's flicker.

creature swimThe Creature, in a choreographed underwater backstroke, inches away from our Amazon heroine as she swam across the surface of the Black Lagoon.

Synchronicity, the Beauty and the Creature

The last of his species in a world where conservation was King Kong on display in a zoo. Would the Creature reach out and destroy these human invaders to his sanctuary? Or was his mind on an ever-more important primordial drive: procreation?

You'll have to watch the movie to find out!

Plaza de Armas Cusco PeruFast forward to January 2000. As with many of my travels, plans started one sunny afternoon on the second floor balcony of Bagdad's Café overlooking the Plaza de Armas, Cusco. Bon Bon was in Manu, a wilderness Amazon region east of Cusco across the high mountains and cloud forests. Exploration and scientific studies of Manu started in earnest in the 1980's. Tourism soon followed in restricted areas. Private conservation organizations rallied to develop sustainable management of nature's resources, to empower indigenous peoples in ownership title to their lands, and to provide conservation education to local communities. Bon Bon's participation included the development of the Manu BioStation, a research lodge within 35,000 private acres of unexplored primary rainforest. The exact location of the Blanco River.

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  The indigenous peoples of eastern Peru have long believed that a race of people once existed who had a written language, expressed in flowing lines and geometric forms.

The art of reading it has been lost, and the script is now deciphered by shamans only, who partake of ayahuasca and other jungle hallucinogens to derive meaning from these symbolic patterns, messages passed down from antiquity.

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