03 March 2010

Life on the River (Part 2 of the Amazon)

It's simple and beautiful, difficult and different every day.

Two years ago, I lived in huts like this with lovely yellow plaid hammocks and mosquito nets:

And saw this:

We traveled on a very small boat (with all 20 of us, two pieces of luggage each, a carry-on each, our water, food, and kitchen supplies), staying in each village for days at a time.

**All above photos by Kristen Torres-Toro, 2007**

By the end of my time there, I could predict the weather two days out based on sky and river conditions, I didn't remember what it was like not to smell like the river, and I became an expert in securing a hammock (the secret is in the knot). I felt so free. And the pink dolphins were pretty cool too.

So when our host said we'd get to go out on the river our final day, I couldn't believe it.

Everything about the afternoon was perfect--how the clouds played in the sky, how the sun felt so good, the way our laughter carried in the wind. Such a beautiful day.

**Above two Photos by Connie Rock**

After an hour, we pulled into a little village called Amazonas.

**Photos by Kristen Torres-Toro 2010**

There we met a bunch of people, visited the church, saw the cutest puppies in the world, and went swimming fully clothed. On the way back, it started to rain. Two pink dolphins swam past us.

Magical, those pink dolphins.

Oh, how I have missed that river.

See y'all Friday!


  1. I'm going to go look up pink dolphins. I didn't know they came in different colors. ; ) Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  2. Wow, cool pics! I think I heard of pink dolphins before but forgot.

  3. Oh, my gosh! Those pictures are amazing! And what an experience!

  4. Wow this is absolutely amazing!! What a great adventure. Thank you for posting :D

  5. Dolphins and puppies...oh my! :D Is it easy to fall asleep in a hammock?

    Thanks for sharing your adventure.
    ~ Wendy

  6. You look SO happy! Wonderful trip. :O)

  7. Kristen, you must dig up a picture of those pink dolphins!

    You've lived quite an adventure. Amazing. Everything looks so simple. (Except for the living in a hammock, in a hut, with no doors. No doors!

  8. Gotta a hunt down a picture of pink dolphins...

    Ahem: there's an award waiting for you over at my place :)


  9. Beautiful pictures to remember such a precious time!

  10. Unbelievable! The mosquito netting pix look like something from an alien world!!

    Thanks ever so much for sharing!

  11. This is a beautiful post, Kristen - beautiful photos, beautiful thoughts, beautiful words! :-)

  12. WOw. did you sleep at night outdoors in those hammocks? Silly question I know, but still my mind wants to know. Thanx for sharing!!

  13. Pink dolphins! You not only take great pictures, you describe them well, too. Fascinating.

  14. Amazing Amazon stories and pics. I'm so glad that Jen gave you an award that led me to your beautiful blog.

  15. I love the way you told the story with pictures. What an amazing experience! Thanks for the vicarious thrill!

  16. I didn't either until I saw them in person, Rebecca and Jessica! They are pretty cool!

    Thank you, Georgiana!

    Hey, Wendy--for me it is--as long as I don't have a pillow. With one it's bad on my neck. The worst thing about sleeping in a hammock is the gravity and how it makes you have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

    Thanks, Diane!

    Tamika--stay tuned for Friday! There are different types and I posted the type I saw this time... kind of looks more like a porpoise. But there are the ones who look like the dolphins you know too.

    I loved it! It did make changing clothes a little tricky, though!

  17. John--thank you so much for the award! You really made my day!

    Thanks, Laura and Shannon!

    You're welcome, Patti!

    We did, T.Anne! In a wall-less hut (so under a tin or thatched room), but outside. It was great!

    Thank you, Sandy!

    Mary, it's so great to meet you! I can't wait to get to know you! Thanks for coming by Write in the Way!

    Thank you, Jill! I'm so glad it worked!

  18. I love reading about your trip!!! When I went to Ecuador, we stayed in Quito, so I didn't get to see the jungle part of South America, just the mountains. It's gorgeous down there - what I saw, anyway. Reading your posts makes me so jealous...and excited. I know exactly what you're talking about, how you feel almost better when you're in that kind of place. Thailand makes me feel like that, being with the orphans at the school we work at. You have to depend on God so much more when you're out of your comfort zone. Amazing!!!

  19. Wow! Pink dolphins - never heard of them before.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    Susan :)

  20. I loved the pictures and how you shared your journey.

  21. Kristen: The smile on your face says it all: you were born to minister.

    Please post some photos of the pink dolphins!!!


  22. Wowsers! Beautiful. Looks like lots of good first-hand research for an Amazonian novel! ;)

  23. Beautiful pictures! :) Sounds like an amazing journey. I agree, that trip would give you a lot of good ground work for a novel.

  24. pink dolphins??? did you really say pink? wow. You are so amazingly brave to do this...to go...to live 'free' like that. It does look beautiful. Pink dolphins??? really they're pink??? ☺

  25. This was breathtaking! I could hear the ocean!!!

  26. What a grand adventure. I can feel the moisture, the heat, and I can smell the place with you. The pictures are incredible. Looking forward to reading more. I'm green with envy.