Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado, Peru Wednesday, July 1, 2015
This morning I woke up thinking I need to give the Amazon a go... I'm only here for a few days and who knows I may come to enjoy it.
Breakfast this morning was at 6:30am, it was relatively easy to wake up this morning for breakfast, not just because I went to bed prior to 9pm, but also because of the sounds of the birds. It was rather pleasant.
After breakfast we made our way into the Amazon Rain-forest and walked about 4km towards a lake, along the way keeping an eye out for insects and other creatures of the Amazon. Walking through the forest was not only muddy, but at times I thought that OSH would have a field day here. Bridges that looked like they would topple at any moment, certainly didn't look like they had a building code approval.
We made our way through the forest, which at times had a nice strong garlic odor, this is due to a tree called the Ajosquiro Tree, it is used for natural medicine. It smells exactly like garlic, and the locals will even mix it with water and wash themselves with it to get a nice garlic smell. It also helps keeps the bugs away. Further down the path we came across a few trees that were around 700 - 800 years old, the trees were huge, and the way the roots grew meant you could quite easily keep sheltered from the wind if you needed to.
We finally got to the dock where we would take a Canoe around the lake for a couple of hours and have lunch. Getting onto the canoe itself was a little bit of a mission, you had to walk right down the middle so you wouldn't rock it and tip anyone out, but once we were all on it didn't take more than about a minute before we saw our first Cayman. It didn't really do anything except pose for photos and then swim away. We looked at some of the local bird life and then carried on down the lake in the opposite direction only to get to enjoy some of the traditional random drops of rain that seems to come out of nowhere. Bruno was asked if he was keeping an eye out for Anaconda, to which he said yes, within about 2 minutes of that statement, we saw our first anaconda crawled up. It wasn't a big one, apparently only about 4 meters. Unfortunately my photos were pretty bad and it is barely noticeable.
After that we enjoyed lunch in the canoe while we floated around the lake and then headed back only to be joined but a lot of butterflies. They seemed to like landing on Bruno's bag, I can only imagine it's because it's green. We got back to the dock and headed back down the path back to our lodging. Fairly uneventful walk back apart from the occasional stop of a photo of a couple of Incan gods, and some snakeskin.
After arriving back at the lodge we decided we would walk down to the river and relax in the hammocks, and that's exactly what we did for about an hour and a half... RELAX. It was so comfortable just relaxing and doing nothing, we both dossed off for a little until woken by some random person coming to use on of the other hammocks.
We got up and decided to chill out and have a couple of games of chess, while I got my butt kicked in the first game, the second was a lot harder for Bruno until I made one stupid move which cost me the game.
We decided we would take a walk into the
rain-forest on our own while we had some daylight left. We walked down a path until we came across a random one which looked like it had hardly been used, so we figured we would see what was down there. Along the way we came across some vines and Bruno was able to quickly grab a photo of some species of Monkey swinging from it before it swung off into the forest, I've managed to grab a copy of it so have managed to post photo up, unfortunately the quality wasn't that great. We made our way back feeling satisfied that we have braved the Amazon on our own (that and the fact we needed to get back before the sun went down) and then headed back to relax on the hammocks again while the sun set.
Unfortunately there wasn't much to see due to the cloud cover. We did however get to relax to the noise of the river and the birds chirping away, while we enjoyed the lightning light show that just kept going and going. There wasn't fork lightning, just lots of flashes of light, but still enjoyable.