Saudade – Mariri Jungle Lodge

By Barbara Krzonkalla

Mariri Jungle Lodge; an eco lodge, a home, a natural reservoir. A dream come true, located in the heart of Brazil, along the Amazonian Rainforest. A dream of living in tune and harmony with nature, with one another and one self. A place where healing takes place. Where our home, the planet, mother nature and her children are being cared for together in unity.

A place of smiles, laughter, lightness and simplicity of being. Let me take you to this place, through a little imaginary journey. Welcome to a place, where you can nurture your soul, your mind, your creativity, your inner and outer being with love, peace and stillness. Nurturing you with creative life force leaving you energetic, yet peaceful.


Imagine yourself stepping on an airplane wherever you are and exiting in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. You are immediately exposed to diversity. Diversity of people, of culture, of skin tones, of food of social classes of human and natural beings. The warm sensation on your skin, as the sun shines straight through the cloudless sky. An inner smile appears. You breathe in, first a little bit shy, and then again fully and deeply this time.You have arrived. This is a new start. A start away from daily life, a start of exploration of self and others.

You step into a car. You are leaving the familiar looks of an airport into the wide horizon of the unknown, of surrender. You are entering the wide landscapes which you just admired from above whilst on an airplane.

Here you are, in the backseat just looking outside. The wind in your hair, almost as if caressing you, making you comfortable. And again you can’t help but smile. Smile, because you are here. You did it. You stepped outside your comfort zone. But also you smile, because of the adventurer in you, seeing new landscapes, new people, listening to unfamiliar sounds of languages. You like that new you sitting in that car. You are thankful. Thankful for this life, for this planet, for the sun for the wonders of the world. The inner smile is brightening.

You see trees intertwined into another. Trees you have never seen before. You see shapes of leaves, plants unknown, captivating to your eye. One passing the other, one more beautiful and interesting than the next. You find yourself daydreaming. For the first time in a long time you let your mind wander. All the colours, smells, thoughts, intriguing visuals pathing the way of its journey.

Your wandering mind, exploring its own world is being interrupted by the gentlemen in front, letting you know that you have arrived.

You look left and right and you’re thinking “have arrived – where?”. In Alto Paraiso de Goias, an esoteric town of mysticism, natural therapies and spiritual healing in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park region in the heart of Brazil. And so you get out of the car for the first time experiencing the feeling of “It’s just me and you Brazil”.

And so, as always you make your way to the first café you see. Everyone understands the language of coffee. You are intrigued by all the hammocks in the café’s garden, by the fresh smell of all the food you are yet to explore. But foremost by this beautiful smile of these people you have difficulties understanding – linguistically. Yet on a personal level is so easy to connect with. Using your first Portuguese word: Obrigado – thank you, you now drink your first Brazilian coffee. There you are, closing your eyes and resting in the thought “It’s just me having coffee – on the other side of the world”.

You only heard of that place. You heard it is a retreat place in the midst of the raw jungle, an art residency, where everything lives in line with permaculture. But what does all this actually mean? How does all this translate into actual life lived there?

You are about to know, as the next thing you recall is your name being called. Another driver is waiting outside the café. This time a jeep waiting outside in the burning sun covered in red dust.

Off you go once again, uncomfortably smiling to the driver as you don’t know the language, and you find refuge once again in the horizon in front of you. This time you see hilly landscapes, valleys, the jungle in the distance. For the first time, field like landscapes are replaced by the aliveness of the jungle. Deep greens, intertwined roots and plants, and the sounds of birds, unknown insects and animals. You look up and you see eagles just roaming above the sky. You wonder how their view must be like. And once again you just find yourself taking it in, one deep breath at a time. And then you see a sign in front of a gate: MaririJungleLodge

Your heart opens and you are just imagining what will await you in a second. The engine stops and there you are. In the midsts of what appears to be an oasis of nature and human living. A marriage, a symbiosis of human and natural beings living together. You get out and you are being welcomed by a group of people from all over the world, a community. You enter the kitchen space, which is one spacious beautiful terrace overlooking the jungle. You can’t help but just stop for a second and remind yourself that you are here. After exchanging smiles, hugs and small talk, you are being escorted to your home for the next days.

On the way there, you are passing natural pools. Looking up, you spot all kinds of fruits and flowers hanging from trees. There, above you, a papaya tree. Next to you, beautiful flowers of all colours blossoming in aliveness. Now, you feel the urge to get rid of your slippers and feel the ground underneath. The earth is melting with your feet. As you follow, you pass beautiful houses carefully constructed out of bamboo, wood and cement. Nature constructed into homes. And then you find yourself on a path which appears to be the path into the depths of the jungle. Again you can’t help but look around. On your left the deepness of the jungle on your right the horizon welcoming you with a view over the entire valley. Hill after hill creating a landscape of a never-ending greenery.

The whole scenery supported by sounds of birds, interrupted by a roaming eagle or butterfly catching your attention.

You are following the last meters of the path. Around the corner you see what appears to be a hanging bridge. A hanging bridge leading towards a carefully constructed, beautifully decorated treehouse far up, overlooking the majestic valley. You are now about to take your last steps onto your destination. Your feet first confidently taking steps onto the wooden hanging bridge, then you are holding on as you climb higher and higher into the horizon, the jungle valley in front of you. The bridge is shaking as you see the plants and paths underneath you, intertwined by a water stream coming from a waterfall nearby. You arrive at the top. A little door opens and there you are in your little paradise.

As you enter you see a little kitchen. You dream about sipping your morning coffee here, over viewing this majesty of natural paradise. The tree house is filled with cushions, books, beautiful mosaic lamps and well.. the terrace. For the very first time it is truly only you and nature. You step out and there you are. A being one with nature. You see a valley, an endless valley, filled with hills and mountains. The longer you stare the more hidden hills and mountains you discover. You turn around and you are facing the wall of rocks, the mountain behind you illuminated in the evening sun. You look down as you hear the water-stream flowing underneath you. The water flowing over rocks creating a peaceful yet playful sound. There you are. Supported by the feet of the mountain while looking into what seems to be an endless valley of raw jungle, listening to the symphony of the forest.

Your mind wanders once again, as it is all that can be done. Simply being. All that you are. Enjoy.

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