In the jungle silence doesn’t exist. Always something screeches, whistles, wheezes, screams, cries, chirps, hums … The less human noise, the greater the variety of sounds. Especially at night. When the sun goes down, the majority of residents of the jungle comes to life. You can’t see them, they are hidden in the dark, in the trees, they are too small, too agile, too similar in color to the branches, leaves, plants. But they don’t allow you to forget about them. You close your eyes, and just over your head unspecified something is eating up a bamboo beam, a part of a roof over your tent.
In the river just below you begins a real party, smaller and larger animals go to feast. Sometimes, for unknown reasons, a dog – the only companion within a kilometer – starts barking, and you can only hope that his bark is enough reaction and you don’t need to worry too much about what triggered it. Anyway, there is not much courage to look out of the tent. You have to let the jungle to live its life, do not interfere, do not lean nose when time of human activity ended with the sunset. And till sunrise is not human to reign here. Locals say that the jungle is completely safe, you only have to adapt to its rules. Probably they are right, but they know the rules from their childhood while we have to learn it from the very beginning and we should rather do it fast. Which spider is dangerous? What do you do when you see the snake hanging from the branches over your head? Do fish in the river that eat your skin is just a pleasant massage or something that you definitely should avoid? Which plants can’t be touched? What is eatable and what poisonous? The last question may be particularly interesting as locals eat things that we would probably not touch at all. Every day “out of nowhere” appears some food which is a great reason to celebrate. Fish, worms, fruits – nothing is wasted. We sail the river on bamboo rafts and stop suddenly because someone spotted in the water great fruit from a palm tree. We catch it and only then continue. Next stop – the collection of coastal plants for today’s dinner. Trekking in the jungle toward the waterfalls? Each steps is a new lesson on how to use a particular plant. As an herb, as building materials, those leaves can be used instead of a red bull, and those are great for tea and tobacco. Each inhabitant of the jungle has so great knowledge as well as energy. Their day often begins in the middle of the night when is the best time to cut rubber tree so rubber can flow freely into the container of coconut shells. Sometimes on the way to a rubber farm women and men will stop in the river if they see there is a lot of fish. Their bodies can be used for lunch and fried heads will become a late morning snack. The river is a source of food, as well as fun, it also works as a shower, laundry and car wash. The car only with four-wheel drive if you want to get somewhere else than to a local store.
We sleep on land belonging to a small village. Its amazing experience to be a part of this community. A similar, yet completely different than visiting a Cambodian village. People live here differently, but the sense of community is quite similar. If you’re going to camp on top of the mountain, then you do it with a dozen people, at least few families. Everything happens here together. They eat together, they work together and they care about foreigners together.