Monday, 12 May 2014

Welcome to the Jungle

Another adventure The photographer and I were hoping to have during our time in South America was to venture into The Amazon. Unfortunately, we kept changing out mind about where to do this and were very unorganised... So a week before we were due to start our Inca Trail trek we headed to Cusco (from Huaraz via Lima - an intense journey involving a night bus, and overnight stay and a flight) hoping to find a jungle tour at short notice over the Easter weekend.... 

Sunset over the Tambopata river

We were very lucky and managed to get a place at a lodge called Refugio Amamzonas along the Tambopata river. It was a little more pricey than I was expecting, but with the potential to see Macaws it was hopefully going to be worth it!! We were told by the tour agency that most people fly into Peurto Maldonado (the nearby town), but as we were trying to save the pennies we decided to get a bus which annoyingly left the next day at 10 am, and due to strikes was the last bus out of Cusco heading in that direction!! 

Our very nice room at Refugio Amazonas

Due to our awkward bus we arrived in Peurto Maldonado with a night to spend in the town before our Amazon adventure started. The place was probably one of the least touristy we had been to (most people do not stay in the town) and to be honest there wasn't a huge amount to do. Luckily we managed to fill out time trying to find long sleeved light weight clothes to take with us to the jungle, which proved I be quite a challenge.

The next day our jungle adventure started at midday with a 3-4 hour boat trip to our lodge along the Tambopata river. Along the way we managed to spot a couple of animals, including a tortoise with a butterfly on its head which I found amazing (apparently they like to drink the sweat). Once we arrived at the lodge I was overwhelmed by how posh it was after our months of hostels!! The rooms were basically open but still this was definitely the nicest place we had stayed in a long time. 

Macaws at the clay lick

Macaws at the clay lick

Our guide Luis and a walking palm tree

Sunrise  over the tree tops on the canopy tower

To be honest probably would have been happy to just stay in the lodge all the time, but our schedule was pretty packed (apparently we had to spend most putt time looking for animals). The first night we went out looking for caiman (part of the alligator family) and were lucky enough to see 4, one very close up!! The next day we had the main highlight the Macaw clay lick. We managed to see a large group of stunning Macaws at the lick and Thankfully our guide had bionoculars which we borrowed to get a close up look (and try to take photos through). During our rainforest time We also had a trip on an oxbow lake feeding Pirahanas, saw a Harpy Eagle nest complete with baby, found a chicken spider (which was huge) with babies, got scared by a snake hiding in a muddy footprint and had monkeys climbing all around us in fruit trees. Basically it was awesome, and to top it all off I got to wear my Indiana jones hat a lot!! 

Photographer at work


Caiman close up

Red Titi Monkey

Chicken Spider

At the end of our stay I I was very sad to leave my new life of luxury and head back to the joys of backpacking. 

On the boat in my Indiana Jones hat


Location: The Amazon, Tambopata nature reserve. 

Highlights: The lodge and our room, the macaws and the monkeys. 

Lowlights: The humidity, when we left everything we owned was damp.. It was disgusting!!

Profile pictures: 0, I was very sweaty all the time.

Top tip: Avoid strikes, they are awful... Maybe flying was a better option.

Epiphany's: 0

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