The Lost Lady of the Amazon by Anthony Smith

I came to read this book, because somehow it caught my attention two years ago at the uni library when they were giving some books away. Travel story. I’d like to read that! And then it sat in my shelf for years. It was a short read so finally I figured, it’s time to go through it.

Since it was the Estonian translation, I cannot comment much about the style – only the style of the translator. It felt like it wasn’t much edited, because the sentence constructions were rough and felt like a direct translation from English. Not natural at all. However, this didn’t disturb much, because the story was captivating, illustrated with details about the history of the river Amazon that it was an easy read.

Wild wild woods

Stories of all those people travelling in the wild nature of the tropic climate got me reverent. To go on journeys in primitive gear in the most unexpectable of places, it takes courage or stupidity. Me, used to the safe Estonian nature, have no desire to suffer the bug bites of the tropics. The idea of going on a canoe downstream the largest river on Earth gets me sweaty on knowing there are piranhas down there, waiting for me to fall in the water while on period.

Apparently ignorance is bliss. Not knowing of all of the dangers protects you. Weren’t we to get all we thought about? That would mean, the more we know of the dangers, the more aware of them we are, the more we are afraid of them coming on our way, the more we believe they will happen, the more likely they are really to happen. In an information-infested age, blissfully skipping through wild nature is harder and harder, because we cannot forget all that we know. It’s harder to believe that the nature will take care of you. It’s harder to trust Mother Nature.

The power of a sense of mission

The woman, Isabela Godin whose story is told, went on a wild trip to meet her husband over twenty years. Some people close to her wanted to join, because they thought that it would be nice to start a new life in France where they were to head after the reunion. Things didn’t go as well as planned. Shit got bad. The miracle that saved Isabela only was that she had a vision where to head, what is to come. She firmly believed she must be reunited with her husband so despite that she almost died of hunger, she got her shit together and found her way to where needed, drowsy like a zombie.

There she was, wandering around a scary rain forest wearing rags, not knowing where to head. Eventually she made it. Of course she would. She had imagined the reunion for over twenty years. She had always known they would meet again – and so they did.

If we know we cannot give up, because we desire to achieve higher goals, there will always be that something that protects us. Why the rest of the travel crew left this life early? They only thought this trip would be “nice”. They didn’t have higher aims or real pains to solve in life. Like when startups develop something that is nice to have, but doesn’t solve a critical need, they are more likely to fail early or struggle without seeing an end of the struggle.

Problems bring the joy to life, because solving them keeps us going. A life without problems to solve, higher aims to reach dulls out and fades quick. Having a pain can be a bliss. It can save our lives by making us gritty to keep up and moving. It keeps us going.

You can get the book here:  The Lost Lady of the Amazon: The Story of Isabela Godin and Her Epic Journey

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