This view, in far western Peru, betrays minimal signs of human habitation, in a few cleared fields on the left side under the engine. The photograph is of land that is almost surely a reserve for uncontacted people, either the Isconahua, the Kapanawa, or the Yavari Tapiche. The remoteness of the region and a lack of political will make protecting the jungle from prospectors virtually impossible. But I found the sight of intact jungle to be a revelation.
These logs traveled off the Amazon River to Pucallpa, Peru. A man working on the deck of the barge saw me trudging through the mud and waved me over. I climbed aboard. I asked him how big was the biggest tree he’d ever seen. He said his uncle had worked as a logger in Africa and he spoke of a tree so large that when struck with an ax, it started to rain.