It was 8:00 AM. I had been awake for nearly an hour already. I had a strange, lingering headache from what I feared was one of those brain-eating amoebas. I suspected I contracted it while swimming in the Black River, an Amazonian tributary. Will I die at the advancing age of 26? Perhaps, but not before I catch some piranha. I felt good, energetic.
One of the most thrilling parts of being in the Amazon was getting to try so many different types of foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables were everywhere and were so much larger and more vibrant than anything I’d ever seen. The pure, fertile soil of the rainforest grows the most organic produce on planet earth. Avocados were the size of cantaloupes, limes the size of pineapples, and papayas the size of watermelons. I had sensory overload Walking through street markets because I wanted to take in every sight and smell of the beautiful, unusual fruits and vegetables that were piled on tables and stacked several stories high in crates.
On the Aria Amazon, Chef Miguel Schiaffino prepared delicious and unique dishes that were a delight to our taste buds every time with locally sourced ingredients that you’ve likely never heard of, much less tasted: aguaje fruit ice cream, giant Paiche, Sabalo and Patarashca fish, camu camu juice, and over 31 different kinds of plantains. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, there’s a wine for that — just ask the in-house sommelier. After dinner, we took in the Achaval Ferrer Malbec, or the official drink of the Amazon — the Pisco Sour — as we numbered the innumerable stars on the observation deck. Twas glorious.
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