Friday, September 10, 2010

Climbing in the Canopy

This morning I woke up to the loud calls of macaws. This is a blue and gold one. Just Victor and i were awake, so he pointed out several in the tree right next to our tents....very cool.

He heard some monkeys, so we headed out into the jungle to find them. We walked under some dense tree cover where fruit carcases were raining down from the monkeys eating. They were so high up in the trees that we could barely see them. We saw this cute little beetle though....

We also saw this massive spider web. These are social spiders he said. They all live in one giant web colony. They are hard to see here, but each of those little spots is one of the spiders. There are probably about 100 in that tangle of webs.

I also found this huge jungle vine and had a Tarzan moment....

We all headed back toward the lodge then and out to this tree. It is about 150 ft up and so we geared up to climb it!

So I went first. Basically you have two clamps on that rope. I had to squat down and move one hand up, then stand up on that harness and move the other up. Looks easy in principle.....not easy!!!!

The record time by one of the guides was 7 took me 30!!!

Here's what that climb looks like from the top. When I stood at the bottom I didn't feel like it was that tall......well, from the top looking down it was pretty scary.

The view was worth the climb. I was in the tallest tree in the jungle. It was pretty hot sitting up there without any shade but it was great to just sit and listen to the sounds of the jungle.

One of the lodge employees was there at the top helping us get up onto the platform and he said I could climb out on the branches.....creepy! I was thankfully clipped into those thick wires just in case though. As you can see I am just a little (or a lot...gross) sweaty..... it was a really tough climb!

I hung out there while Rosey made her way up.

Then we repelled was pretty tough to trust those cords as I lowered myself over the edge.

Thank goodness that now we have the rest of the morning to recover. My forearms were killing me for days!

So this is pretty much what we did for the rest of the day, napped, showered (no monstrous bugs in the bathroom this time thankfully) and played some dominoes. Nice to have a little down time before tonight's big event.

We went out cayman hunting on the river. Cayman's are jungle crocodiles. We traveled down river about 5 minutes (same river we were kayaking and swimming in yesterday) and came to this little cove where Victor knows there are some baby caymans living. So he hops out of the boat and points out these giant cayman tracks (which of course is super freaky) and heads over to the edge of this little cove where we can see with our flashlights all these glowing eyes. He karate chops the water and comes back to the boat with this baby cayman!

The thing is making these little cawing sounds and Victor says that he is calling his mom.....perfect....who luckily decides not to come to the rescue.
So we all got to hold him and check him out up close. Very cool. I must say that I was very pleased to have seen a small one....that's enough excitement for me.

Tonight was our last night in the jungle, tomorrow we are off to Lima, so here we are with our wonderful guide, Victor. He made our jungle experience so incredible!!!