Robert F. Edwards
The very title says it all – Enchantment! Once again, I travel along the trails of history through South America. I started this backpacking journey alone but soon was surrounded by people that I befriended on this great continent. Life is a journey, not a destination.
My wish list on this particular journey of 2002 started with visiting Robinson Crusoe Island. Unfortunately, with time not on my side, the situation did not arise. My next dream was to see Machu Picchu, which I did accomplish, and with far more reverence than I had ever hoped.
I completed the Inca Trail, a 5 day trek to Machu Picchu, which was a breathtaking and fulfilling moment of reflection when I saw the area and surrounding mountains. Some moments truly take your breath away and this was one of them.
My third wish was to travel from the tributary down through the Amazon River to its mouth in Belém. This mighty river that holds second place in the world for length and first place for width only broadened my imagination beyond anything I had ever experienced before. The vast jungles of the Amazon basin where Mother Nature’s reassurance that there is a garden of paradise, that all things are available, within our reach.
Like so many opportunities in my life, this one was bountiful with irreplaceable rewards. My journey took me from Lake Titicaca to the Nazca Lines, to Cuzco and Iquitos in Peru, to the breathtaking landscapes of the high plateaus of Bolivia, to the jungle hamlets along the mighty Amazon. I experienced the carnivals in Salvador, the magic of religion that blends itself with the orthodox, and the cultures of taboo. It was a feeling of pure love of life, of people and their lifestyles in this region of the world.
I have taken more than one grand journey in my lifetime, but this one left me giddy and happy with the pure merriment of the people that surrounded my days on this journey. I found myself, towards the end, so exuberant and full of life that I told people I was Peter Pan, never wanting to grow up. I hope you enjoy reading this enchanted journey.