Bullet ant bites feel like fire. Tarantulas grow as big as a man’s hand. Giant anaconda snakes slither through the river water. As Kane and his group made the long 50-kilometer (31-mile) hike back through the rain forest toward their starting point, Kane encountered them all.
Bees followed him, hungry for the taste of his sweat. Once, a bullet ant fell down his shirt. He batted at it, but it kept biting him. Poor Kane was dizzy for the next few hours and covered in swollen welts.
Kane found this small reptile, called a caiman, while hiking through the rain forest.
One day, the group set out to find an anaconda. Their guide located one, but it slithered into its underground nest before Kane could see it. The track it left behind showed it was a giant. It was about 9 meters (nearly 30 feet)—almost as long a school bus!
The undisputed ruler of the rain forest is the jaguar. These powerful big cats are deadly hunters. One day as they hiked through the forest, Kane’s guide discovered fresh tracks of a large adult jaguar. It had crossed their path within the past few hours. The guide told him that they wouldn’t get attacked if they stuck together. Still, it was hard not to feel nervous.
End of the Road
After two weeks, Kane’s adventure came to an end. His group left the rain forest. It felt strange to see buildings everywhere, bustling crowds, and people zipping by on motorbikes.
Kane couldn’t help thinking about how the Matsés people, far from it all, had showed him, again and again, how to live simply and in harmony with the rich natural world of the rain forest.