Blogs from Amazon Rainforest, Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru, South America

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Less than 40 minutes after leaving the Tarmac in Cusco we had touched down in the Amazonian city of Puerto Maldonado and had gone from 16 degrees, low humidity and 3,400m altitude, to 33 degrees, 95% humidity and being able to breath nice and easily again. After being greeted at the airport by our guide for the next four days, we were whisked away to the Wasai hotel located in Puerto Maldonado. Here, we prepared our bags, grabbed our wellies and jumped aboard an open back 4x4 for the journey to our remote lodge in the jungle. We were heading to the Tambopata National Reserve; one of the Amazons best kept areas where we would be staying at a riverside lodge, sleeping in wooden bungalows and taking trips out on the river and into the forest ... read more
Tarantula
Jungle walk
4x4


Readers, What can I say about the Amazon? Pros: Alligators, tarantulas, monkeys, and cold beer. Cons: 100% humidity, mosquitoes, and jungle heat... Mike and I just wrapped up a 4 day, 3 night trip to an Ecolodge outside Puerto Maldonado, 12 hours outside of Cusco right up near the border to Brasil and Bolivia. On day one, after the night bus, we accomplished very little as we acclimatized to the new climate and surroundings. We met our guide, Jackson, who brought us to the lodge and deposited us to be fed and sheltered. We then proceeded to make use of our free day by ploughing through Game of Thrones (I had book 2, Mike read book 1) and taking ourselves on a short self walk around the land in the ecolodge. The short walk was quite ... read more
Rockin the Wellies
Giant River Otters!
Wild Cayman (aka Alligator)!


Left the hotel at 6.45 and caught the bus out to the airport to catch the 6.45 flight to Puerto maldonado. The flight went via Cusco. Flying over the mountain looked wonderful. The mountains are so steep. When we arrive In P M and it was quite humis and hot. Left most of our luggage at the local office and then took a bus for a 45 min bus trip down a very rough road which had some very dodgy bridges. We then caught a canoe for a 2 1/2 hrs trip up the river to our lodge. It was getting dark by the time we arrives there. There was a steep climb up and then a 10 minute walk to the Lodge. It really was a nice surprise. The rooms were open one side and ... read more
James in hammock
James at the top of the tower
The tower


It's been about 7 hours since we got back to our hostel in Cuzco from trekking the Inca Trail (see "Inca Trial to Machu Picchu"). It would be glorious to get to sleep in. To rest. But we don't have that luxury. We've booked a 4 day expedition in Manu National Park with Manu Explorers (http://www.manuexplorers.com/). We probably should have put aside a day of rest between the two tours, but we have limited vacation days and need to get as much done as possible. It's Sunday November 19th, 2012. This will be our second week in Peru. Richie is not coming with us to Manu though, as he has to fly back home to spend Thanksgiving with his family. Mason, Cory, Sarah, and I are "thankful" for the US having two holidays this week so ... read more
Ninamarka Tombs
Entrance to Manu National Park
Waterfall in the Cloud Forest


Day 5: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012- Peruvian Amazon Today we spent our time fishing, visiting an Amazonian family and feeding baby caimens. The river where we went fishing was very low . During the dry season the river water level diminishes significantly, making it more difficult to catch fish. Only one person in our group caught a fish. The fish were very smart and 2 times they were able to chew off the bait from my fishing rod. I definitely, would not pass of as a fisherman ;-). Our guide told us that we were not going to eat the fish. We put the fish back in the water. Apparently, the people in that region, put mercury into the water to look for gold, polluting the water and making the fish poisonous to eat. Good to ... read more
Can you spot the Caimen now
Fishing expedition
The lone fish catcher

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Day 4: Tuesday, August 14th, 2012- Puerto Maldonado (Peruvian Amazon, EcoAmazonia Lodge) Today our guide took us into the jungle where he described the many types of trees and what the Amazonian people used them for. Each tree was given a English name based on a unique property that set it apart from other trees. The first tree that we came across was the garlic tree because it smelled like garlic. The next tree our guide showed us was the iron tree. This tree is magnetic and attracts lightning. The tree we saw next was the blackberry tree because if you hit it hard you can hear the echo throughout the forest. If you hit it 5 times that means you are lost, 3 times means lunch is ready. We then saw a round tree called ... read more
Garlic Tree
Iron Tree
Iron Tree


After the physical strain of Machu Picchu, we decided to have a day of rest when we got back to Cusco as we were going to the jungle the following day as well. So our day consisted of; attempting to get some compensation for the Machu Picchu hiccup, going to KFC and getting a massage! In the evening we went to another hostel to meet people from our first Macchu Pichu group and ended up a little bit drunk. Following morning we woke up feeling a bit sorry for ourselves after the night before but got up and waited to be picked up for our 3 day jungle tour in Peurto Maldonado. We were half expecting to not be picked up again, due to the South American's innate organisational skills but luckily for us, at 10am ... read more
Our Lodge in the Jungle
Monkey in a tree at the lake
TARANTULA!


After our time exploring Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, we were off to the Amazon. We had pre-booked a three day/two night package at Sandoval Lake Lodge, as well as an extra night's stay in the jungle village of Puerto Maldonado. The lodge was run by InkaNatura, which is owned by a non-profit conservation group, so even though the tour was expensive by backpacking standards, we were happy to have our money go towards conservation of the beautiful places we were visiting. Just getting to the lodge was an adventure in itself! It took almost the whole day, and included flying from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, then travelling down the Rio Madre de Dios by a motorized longboat, before hiking through the Tambopata Reserve, and finally taking a canoe across Sandoval Lake to our Lodge. ... read more
Got an Itch!
Hoatzin
Giant Otter


Eergisteren ben ik met Leila op stap geweest, een meisje afkomstig uit Brasilië, Rio Branco. ´s Avonds brak er op straat een ruzie en vechtpartij los tussen een groepje jongeren op een hoek van een straat, waar een vrouw een barbecue-stel had staan. Ze maakten denk ik ruzie omdat er iemand niet wou betalen of niet genoeg had betaald. Er werd wat geknokt, er werd eten op straat gesmeten, en een jongen hield er een bloedneus aan over. Toen kwam er een vrouw naar mij toeglopen. Het was de vrouw uit de bar in de discotheek waar we naartoe waren geweest. Het biljet van 20 S/. waarmee ik betaald had was vals, zei ze. Ze hadden het onder een speciale machine gehouden. Waarschijnlijk heeft een of andere Peruviaanse stinkerd mij dat biljet overhandigd als wisselgeld in ... read more


Ik start vandaag voor de veiligheid met een nieuwe blog op een andere website; in de vorige heb ik geen vertrouwen meer en de tekstopmaak hapert. De komende dagen zou de temperatuur hier nog meer de hoogte in gaan. Het is hier nu al zo warm, overdag schat ik tussen de 30 en de 35 graden Celcius, op z´n minst. Paola, 26, afkomstig van Cusco maar nu werkzaam in een secundaire school in Puerto Maldonado en hier ook wonend, heeft mij gevraagd om haar franse les te geven. Ze geeft het vak communicatie, en soms staan er in haar boeken franse woorden waarvan ze de uitsprak niet kent. Morgen ga ik er naar toe :-) Haar ouders bouwen voor haar een huis hier. De grond kost 12.000 Soles, ongeveer 3.000 euro, en de bouw van het ... read more




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