Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To the Amazon

This morning we said goodbye to Charli and boarded a plane to Porto Maldonado and the Amazon!!!

When we landed our guide, Victor, picked us up at the airport and after everyone from our group got in we headed to the city's lodge headquarters where we were greeted with fresh starfruit yummy!

The lodge in the city has a pool....posh! It was very tempting since it is super hot and sticky here.

Once we got everything ready to go we went down to the river to board our transportation to the jungle lodge......5 hours up river on this little guy.

The whole jungle experience was all inclusive so we got our first jungle meal. It was the most amazing fried rice dish I think I have ever had and the tastiest banana. Think I am going to get into this place.

After lunch it was time to kick back and enjoy the ride. The air felt fantastic once we had some breeze. It was particularly nice since we had just been freezing in Cuzco.

The water in the river is pretty dirty right now. Victor says it is because they just had a big rain storm recently so it will take a couple weeks to settle. Made the experience feel a little more rugged.

We didn't see tons of people living along the river but every once and a while we would see locals taxiing back and forth in these long boats.

All along the way Victor was pointing out wildlife. We kept hearing these really high pitched bird sounds. It was coming from the birds that live in these nests called Webers. It was really crazy to hear their call....seemed like something only a synthesizer could make. I really liked it.

We also saw a couple capibara or carpincho which are the largest rodents in the world.

So this is the Urubamba river we traveled down. While we are in the Amazon Jungle, we are not on the actual Amazon river.

We got to watch the sun set over the jungle which was really incredible.

This is the main lodge lounge area. All open air and very cool. The roof is made of waterproof jungle plants. No shoes allowed, which is kind of nice, it feels homey.

More great fresh squeezed fruit juice. They do have electricity there, but only from 6pm to 10pm. Other than that it is just candles and flashlights. So cool....

We went to our jungle bungalows. They are pretty nice but rustic. Ours is the very last one next to the raw jungle which is kind of creepy. they are on stilts and have wood walls, but some of the front of it is netting instead of windows and they are not fully closed off by any stuff gets in. These little cockroaches greeted us upon arrival......hate them. Rosey and I tried to catch them, but were being totally girly and so Victor heard our screams and "saved" us from them. Pretty sure those are the least of our jungle creature problems.

After he dispensed with the cockroaches he walked back to the lodge with us so we could go on a night bug hunt. That is when we met "the count", a pink toed tarantula that lives on a tree in our little bungalow village. Felt pretty sill about the cockroaches after meeting this guy.

There are also all these dive bombing, suicide cicadas here. Victor just grabbed this one off a lamp. I swear he is an insect whisperer.

For the night jungle walk we were advised to tuck our pants into our socks so as to have no unexpected hitchhikers.

And so Victor led us into the nighttime jungle. Very interested but very much on guard. I kept remembering how anacondas sometimes attack their prey by falling on them out of trees.....

Check out this huge tree! I guess we are going to climb this big boy in a couple days.

Stick bug.

Giant grasshopper.

Leaf bug.

Some kind of creepy looking.

So we see this thing, and then all of a sudden Victor chases it into this tree to catch it.....he's crazy!

He of course is successful...... Guess he has been bitten by most things, tarantula, poisonous snake, piranhas, so a little scorpion is probably not that big of a deal.

Another huge spider.

A few minutes later Victor grabs this long piece of grass and sticks it in this hole....

Out comes this big old glad my pants are tucked into my socks now.

Lizard. There were tons of these guys around the lodge grounds also.

Some kind of poisonous spider.

A visual of how we were feeling after seeing all that crazy stuff.

And then.....sweet dreams......yeah right! More like anxiety! I was so grateful for that net around the bed. Didn't let me sleep real well, but it was some comfort.

1 comment:

The Holts said...

Denise, it is so fun to see your pictures of the jungle!!! Kimball and I went to that exact spot almost 2 years ago. What a FUN place, huh? Wow, I don't even know how to describe how amazing it is. I am happy you get to be there. -Shelley