Forging a Path through Peru

Adam Hlasny photo for ACEER
Adam Hlasny

by Adam Hlasny

My eyes are open, but the world around me is black. The Peruvian nightfall has quickly cloaked our craft in impenetrable darkness. After hours afloat on the Tambopata River, the clattering outboard’s last gasps yield to the primal cacophony of countless rainforest creatures. The long, narrow vessel languidly glides to shore as our leader clicks on a heavy-duty searchlight, scanning the muddy banks for a suitable place to put in. No longer lulled by the moving boat’s breezes, I wipe fresh moisture from my brow. The expedition leaders’ anxious Spanish shouts pierce the night like verbal gunfire. Finally the group disembarks, hoping to God that the guides have found the correct clearing in this nocturnal landscape. If we’ve missed the path to our lodgings, there isn’t another human settlement for dozens of miles in any direction…

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