While staying at Yacutinga Lodge, we were given the opportunity to go on a night walk in the jungle. Not really sure what this could entail, we were the only two who signed up to go (we were two of four guests there at the time)! We met about an hour after dinner, our flashlights and/or headlamps ready, and were off! We walked among some Yerba Mate plantations and tracked footprints of what looked like some wild animals. It was a full moon while we were there, so the light was just enough in some areas to not even need our flashlights. After a while and a little bantering back and forth about our histories, Jenica boldly said, "my cousin will probably kill me for this, but are there any Argentinean ghost stories you could tell us?". Growing up camping in Glacier National Park with our families in Montana, this was a favorite pass time when we were kids. As adults though, what's the point, right? He said there wasn't much in the way of ghost stories - more just legends which are re-told. He told us of the legend of how Yerba Mate came to be - a Guarani Legend of two Goddesses (of the Moon and of the Clouds) came to Earth and encountered a jaguar who was about to attack. An old man saved them from their peril and in return, they bestowed a new plant to him, from which a "drink of friendship" could be prepared. Lovely. He then began to tell of another legend from Patagonia - Southern Patagonia. There was an unknown lake where a young woman had died due to the rough conditions surrounding the waters and the hiking trails. People eventually stopped going there as they feared it was haunted by this young women. Ignoring the warnings, a young man ventured to go to this lake and camp overnight. During the night, he had a vision of a young women walking out of the water. The next day - he met the same young woman from his dream the night before and when he asked her if she was the "Lady of the Water", she said. . . .. YES! Okay - so it may not be as dramatic in writing as it was in person (he actually yelled out YES)! We SCREAMED soooo loud, I imagine that any animal nearby went running. We then laughed hysterically and gave major kudos to Nestro for being able to capture such a great reaction from his story and not even doing so in his native language. I still giggle every time I think of that evening. Our night walk in the Jungle - one of my favorite moments from the trip!
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