he canoe pushes through the mist, as if to tear it apart and cut
a path for the hesitant rays of light unable to find an opening in the thick, hazy, almost impenetrable cloak. The haze seems to shroud everything in a dawn of diffused lines and shades, in which gnarled trunks and mud paths are sensed rather than seen.
But a insistent breeze little by little blows the fog of the languid dawn away. The shadows disappear. No longer is anything sensed. The forest is made visible, a grand, extraordinary green labyrinth… and an ocelot, wise, intrepid, silent, slips away from those adventurous men that travel the Madre de Dios river, a paradise of biodiversity in the southeast of Peru.
This is an exuberant and vigorous land that has not yet been
punished by the destructive claws of civilization. The jungle is ferocious and intricate, hot and oppressive, but rich in life. In this area of the Amazon - mythologized by the Spanish conquerors as El Dorado - the greatest variety of animal and plant species on the planet coexist in perfect harmony.
There are three conservation areas in Madre de Dios of great importance: the Manu Biosphere Reserve, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, the Tambopata - Candamo Reserve, with intact populations of several endangered species, such as the giant river otter and the Harpy eagle, and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, home to some 450 different species of birds.
Madre de Dios can only be described as a miracle of nature: A world of gigantic trees, powerful rivers and thick fog, in which man is an outsider, a strange being disturbed by the whispers of the inhabitants of the jungle as he walks its tortuous trails. Here silence never reigns. Here anything could happen.