Into the Jungle - Part 1: Camping

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South America » Peru » Amazonas
November 6th 2009
Published: November 6th 2009
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The French, Danish, Aussies and us.
Into the Jungle - Part 1: Camping in the jungle

So after Cusco Penny and travelled by bus back to Lima where we shared the bus with a Russian fellow named Alexei, we talked for a few hours about various things, travel, people, places etc before he went to write in his journal and Pen and I tried to figure out what we were going to do. We were thinking of taking a bus to Puerto Maldonado, then taking a cargo ship by river to Iquitos where we could take another cargo ship down to Manaus in Brazil thus getting into the heart of the Amazon. However this would take us almost two and a half weeks, and would mean that we may not have enough time to get to the Galapagos. The alternative was to fly to Manaus, and take a boat back, but then we might not have enough money for the Galapagos. So as it were we were starting to wonder whether we could get to the Galapagos on this trip, and get into the Amazon as well. We walked with Alexei into the centre of Lima and said our goodbyes as Pen and I found our

Our guide Nilton in the orange, and Ricardo the others guide in black.
way to a hostel we had seen our first time in Lima…the The Flying Dog Hostel. We eventually made our way there and dropped our stuff off in our room. There we met a fellow named Gary who was quite friendly, and from Peru. We asked where he was going and he said he was waiting to get a Visa for Europe because he had an Estonian girlfriend that he was going to go travelling with for a few weeks. We talked a little about where he was going in Europe, shared our thoughts on the places that Pen and I had been before Gary asked about us. So we said we were thinking of going to Iquitos to try and get to the rainforest in Manaus. His face positively lit up, and he burst out with a “I’m from Iquitos!!” and not only that, he was a guide for a tour company that took people into the Jungle near Iquitos. He explained that Manuas had rainforest very similar to Iquitos, and that it was a long trip to Manaus, and Manaus was more expensive for tours. So he gave us the name of his company and said he could

As we got closer to the lodge, we started passing locals on the "road".
set up something for us if we wanted. We said we needed to speak to a travel agent first because we also wanted to go to the Galapagos, and we weren’t exactly sure yet how we were going to do it all. So we said we’d catch up with him later on that night.

Off Pen and I went in search of food and a travel agent….we happened to find both in the same alley! We found a travel agency called Inca Rocha but they were busy, so we walked by a few restaurants around it, one of which was vegetarian! Whoo hoo! So we ordered food first at the vegetarian place, and I had an omelette with rice, and a bit of spice and Penny had some sort of rice dish of some sort as well. We then received a drink of some description, it was the colour of ice tea, and smelled a bit like ginger…and uncharacteristically I tried it first before Penny. The consistency was a complete surprise, it was similar to Jello but was warm, in between hot and room temperature. I can safely say the consistency put me off having another sip right away.

Moose in with the ladies...nice work pal.
Penny saw my face and was simultaneously amused and curious, so she tried some and we both decided it wasn’t for us. The locals swore it was good for digestion, but my digestion seemed to need little assistance, so I gave it a miss although I did try it one more time before deciding this. We then went back to the Travel Agency and the owner spoke English and said she could arrange everything for us, we just needed to decide what we wanted to do. So she gave us costs and prices for buses, flights, boats and taxi’s to get to the jungle and to the Galapagos. She also recommended a tour company to take us into the Jungle. As a result Pen and I left rather overwhelmed and said we’d be back in the morning with a decision. We went back and spoke to Gary and decided to fly to Iquitos and use his company and skip Manaus which meant we would save time and money to make sure we got to the Galapagos. So that said we went out to get some dinner and cheated. Instead of something local, we decided to get a McDonalds. I don’t

The cargo boat at the big river side of the village. This boat takes all the rice back to Iquitos.
know if I’ve ever had one that tasted so good after all the local food on the Inca trail, pizza’s that weren’t quite pizza’s, bucket loads of rice….McDonalds was a welcome change for both of us. We headed back and made up our minds to see Theresa in the morning to arrange it all, Jungle then Galapagos….but it wasn’t going to be cheap.

We awoke in the morning and went for a great breakfast that was included with our hostel, for me a fruit salad, bread & jam and juice, for Pen coffee, egg & toast and juice. Then we set off to see Theresa, the owner of Inca Rocha. For the better part of the day we ran back and forth between other clients of Theresa’s to discuss aspects of the trip, make decisions on transport, prices, how dangerous some options might be, and how tight it was going to be. In the end, it was actually cutting it close for time, and was over our budget….but you’re a long time between visits to the Galapagos so we bit the bullet and just before they closed we ran to a bank, and just managed to pay for it

Jungle life, we're at our lodge, and that's our place .... the yellow hut on the left.
all with a mix of Peruvian Sols, American Dollars, and good old Visa. We were all shattered, but a plan lay before us. We had to be back to see Theresa at 12:00pm to sort out a few things, then we were getting picked up for the airport at 2pm from our hostel, and then Gary had arranged for his people to pick us up at the airport and take us to their offices to sort out our jungle tour. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little nervous about being set up for a con by Gary. For all we knew we would get picked up and robbed, picked up and sold a tour that never happened, or sold a tour for more money than it was worth …. but we put some trust in our instincts and waited to see what happened.

We arrived at Lima’s airport without any real problems, and a few hours later stepped off the plane into a hot and humid night very different than the slightly chilly evening the night before in Lima. As a result we were immediately excited, we were in the jungle. An airport employee came up

How cool is this leaf bug? You'd never see him in the trees.
to us and asked if I was Scott, when I confirmed he then asked us what our bags looked like (all of this was in Spanish) then grabbed our bags, put them on a trolley and took us out to fellow who worked for Gary’s company and greeted us, hustled us into a car along with a fellow named Willy who spoke a little English. Pen and I were nervous because we didn’t know these guys, we didn’t know where they were taking us, and we didn’t really know where we were apart from an increasing distance from the airport. However nothing in Willy’s demeanour was obviously alarming and so we started to settle down. We got to their office and met up with the fellow who had met us at the airport. The fellow that initially met us from the company met us again at the office of the company Amazon Expeditions. We were thinking about taking a 5 day camping trip in the jungle, and saving four days to explore Iquitos. However after seeing Iquitos on the way it, was somewhat abysmal. Garbage in the streets, drab grey buildings, and markets of which none really implored us to

Boat man, this is the ship being built in two weeks.
spend more time and money than was necessary in Iquitos. However as it happened the fellow convinced us to take 3 extra days, and since Gary had got us a special rate it was agreed. 8 days in the jungle, we were leaving at 6am from the office, heading to their lodge in the jungle, then setting of from there for 6 days camping before heading back to the lodge for one night, then back to Iquitos for our flight home the following morning. We paid the extra money, and with a sigh of relief headed back to the hotel they had recommended to us…..tomorrow we were on our way to the rainforest, with our money intact, passports safely stored in our bags, and our faith in humanity restored as well. Whooo hoooooo, cheers Gary!

Jungle Day 1

So after a very humid night, where the fan didn’t do much to help us sleep we packed up and were at the office for 6am. We put all our stuff in the car and drove for 2 hours with our guide Nilton who spoke a little English. Along the way we chatted a bit with Nilton, watched thatched houses

This is the man building the boat in 2 weeks, all by hand. Very impressive.
in fields go by, and held our breath as our driver passed slow trucks as we went round corners. The CD was playing Bryan Adams, Boston, Heart and a bunch of other 70’s/80’s tunes that were very obviously “classics” for us tourists, which we actually enjoyed mostly because it was nice to hear something we at least knew! We arrived at a busy little river port and jumped into a thatched roof boat with a few people already on it. Two Danish girls, an Aussie gal and fella, and two French dudeds with dreads down to their asses. They were all volunteers that had been teaching English near Cusco and had finished their stints so were travelling a little of Peru. We introduced ourselves, chatted a bit then Nilton and another fellow named Ricardo who was the other groups guide. We had a good chat on the way down the river (which was brown the colour of a creamy coffee) as it was about 4 hours by boat to the lodge. Along the way Ricardo told us that he was shot while he was serving in the Peruvian Army, right through the gut but he was lucky and he lived.

One of the cutest denizens of the jungle.
A few of his friends weren’t so lucky and were shot and killed during battles with renegades. In particular he watched one of his friends get shot in the head and watched as his face disintegrated. On a lighter note, Ricardo joked that although he was born 34 years ago, he’s actually 33 because he gained a year by surviving being shot. He had a good sense of humour, and spoke English very well. He’s been a guide in the rainforests since he was a young man, and has worked from the Amazon in Brazil, up to Iquitos and the mouth of the Amazon, so he seemed to be a great guide. However our guide Nilton was quite quiet, but did join in on the conversation a few times.

We eventually pulled onto the main river which was very wide and had fields on either bank, it was low season so the river was down and rice was growing on the banks, however high season was on it’s way in the next few weeks and it would get warmer and wetter allowing the river to rise and flooding the fields until the next dry season. As we continued up

Sloth is supposed to be a sin, but how could a sin be so damn cute!
the river Ricardo explained that three rivers all combined in this basin, and the Amazon was one of them. He pointed out the mouth of the Amazon as we went by it, and we watched as river dolphins popped up all around us, but it was so hard to get a decent photo because they were so random when they popped up…and were only there for a second or two. So no luck there, however it was still pretty cool to see them! About 30 mins later we arrived at a small shoreline with a few boats, and we all jumped out, crossed about 50 feet to the other side where there were a few boats tied up floating on yet another river. It would appear boats were going to figure largely in our lives over the next few days! We waited as our guides arranged for some supplies to get loaded onto a smaller boat, about the same length, but skinnier and without a roof. We all climbed in with our bags, and by some miracle we all fit! Then it was another 30 mins upstream. We got to the lodge and got shown our accommodation. Penny and I

Still not sure about this tying to the house business though.
got our own little yellow wooden hut with two beds, mosquito nets and a little ensuite bathroom. It was pretty cute. Everyone else was in dorms….so we were pretty happy with our little set up. Once we’d dropped our stuff off we all went to the main dining lodge and sat around talking as lunch was being prepared. Except I was too busy photographing a grass hopper like leaf bug. It’s wings looked just like leaves, and I couldn’t get over how amazingly it would camouflage on a tree with green leaves. When I finally finished photographing the leaf bug I sat down while to wait for lunch and after a few minutes felt something crawling on my leg. I looked down to see a cockroach about half the size of my index finger crawling up my leg, hmmmm. Lunch was served, and was a rice dish with fish, and sliced pineapple cantaloupe (rock melon for you Aussies) and watermelon for desert. Then we had the news that Nilton had left his bag which he needed for our camping trip back at the little change over area, and told us that there was a small village there and that he

The village with it's stilted houses, cats, chickens, dogs, and kids.
was going back to see if he could find his bag, so we said we’d go back with him. While we were waiting for Nilton one of the girls let out a small scream. There was a black scorpion crawling across the floor. The black scorpion is deadly, although how deadly they didn’t say. Pen and I had to go to the village so we left the scorpion and everyone else in the lodge, and jumped back in the boat. The village was a short walk north of where we swapped over from the big boat to the little boat, and was only about half a kilometre wide in parts from the little river the lodge was on to the big river the dolphins were in. At the entrance there to the village there was a boat (about 25 feet?) being built by a man who looked to be in his 40’s or 50’s. Nilton explained that it would take about 2 weeks to build and complete, and that this was this mans job. Boat builder. We walked into the village and there were thatch roofed houses on stilts (to keep them out of the water during the wet season)

More stilted thatched village houses.
on two sides, and a path through a field in between them. There were roosters, chickens, dogs, cats and kids running around everywhere. Along the way we stopped and were amazed to see a baby sloth on a bamboo wall on the inside of one of the houses. Nilton explained that it was being tamed to be a pet of sorts. The villages caught these sloths, tied a rope around their foot and tethered them to the wall of their houses. When the sloths got used to being fed, and being around people they were put in a tree near the house where hopefully they would stick around for easy grub. Not wild really, but not a pet in the sense we know either. So we couldn’t resist and took a few photo’s of the fellow. Penny pet his head which he really didn’t like, but he moved his clawed hand toward her at such a slow speed that she could have stood there for 10 seconds before he actually got her. We both thought it was cool that already we’d seen a 3 toed sloth (it’s name will be familiar as a two letter word ae for those that

Hee yah, to kids in the village mucking around kung fu fighting. Must have just seen kung fu panda.
play scrabble). We waited for Nilton to check a few houses before he got back to us with his bag, and then we headed back to the village. From there we had dinner, and Penny and I went to our little hut and set things up for bed. When we came out it was dark, and we brought our flashlights to the main dinner lodge. We all decided to explore the area around the lodge and see what we could see. Within a few minutes Penny and her bionic fish eyes found a tarantula on the tree in front of our lodge! It was smaller than my hand, but that was big enough to freak most people out. It was a pink tarantula, or tarantula rosa and therefore not fatally toxic…good to know. We then went into the jungle with Ricardo and found a few tree frogs, a couple more scorpions and tarantula’s and sadly…no snakes, but Pen and I still had a week…so we weren’t too worried yet. We headed back to the lodge, and went to bed . A big cockroach, leaf bugs, scorpion, and tarantula and poisonous tree frogs…we’re definitely in the jungle now! And tomorrow we’re

This was the coolest bug in the jungle, it glowed in the dark when it crawled or flew around. Penny thought it was a clicker bug for you Queenslanders out there.
going deeper!

Day 2 (Day 1 camping)
We were up again around 6am and in the boat and on our way shortly after breakfast (omelette and rice, and fresh fruit!). We took the boat we came in and went upstream about 3 hours towing a smaller row boat filled with supplies. We also picked up Olympio a friend of Niltons who was going to be our other guide. Olympio however didn’t speak any English. We had a 3rd fellow named Ricardo (different Ricardo) who was in the 2nd boat. We weren’t far down from our lodge when Nilton and Olympio found squirrel monkeys in the trees! So we pulled over and watched them jump about the trees for a bit before carrying on. When we reached a certain point we all got into Ricardo’s boat, and Ricardo got in the big one. From this point Nilton and Olympio rowed us up stream for another 30 mins or so until we found a small tributary and went down that. Here we pulled up to a small clearing and dumped all the gear onto the shore. Then the guys gave Penny and I two small sticks with fishing lines and told

A huntsman spider, about half the size of Scott's hand.
us to catch lunch! So with a little chicken on a hook Penny caught the first fish, and the second, and I managed to get a third and Pen got the last one. So four of us, four fish…lets get gutting. So Pen grabbed a filet knife and went to work gutting our lunch. Then we had fish and rice for lunch. Shortly after that the guys set up the camp, strung two hammocks, mosquito nets, and tarps up for me and Pen, then set up their own nets tarps and mats (they slept on the floor) for themselves. Penny and I went to go see if we could find anything in the jungle and started out to walk for a bit with cameras. Sadly we found nothing as it turns out, daylight isn’t conducive to finding critters! The guys were taking nap, so Pen and I borrowed the boat to do a bit of fishing from it, then decided to explore further up the tributary. So we grabbed an oar each and spent 15 mins going upstream until it got quite hairy with fallen branches, hanging vines, and quite hot as well. So we headed back and I started

Doing the laundry
to make a chair out of vines and branches, while Penny put up her tarp over her hammock and mosquito net and started to make a bracelet out of bark from the vines. The guys woke up, made a rice dinner and we waited for dark…to go looking for caiman. Caiman are a relative of the crocodile, and we spent 2 hours with flashlights rowing up tributaries looking for them…but no luck. I did have a little luck though with the fletcha. There were fish that at night sit just below the surface, and they’re about a foot long and skinny, pen fish I think they called them. The fletcha is a long bamboo pole with a 3 pointed spear at the end. You aim not at the fish but ahead of the fish and hope that when it bolts it bolts in the direction the spear is going. Olympio and Nilton caught about 6, I got 1 and poor Pen missed them all but one, she nailed one in the tail but when she pulled it in it fell off, and probably drowned a slow death. She felt pretty bad. However she’d proven her skill at line fishing, and

Up the river on the way to our campsite.
I’d proven mine at spear fishing…I guess throwing spears around at the boys weekends with my cousin Brian and his son Jordan must have paid off! We headed back and skipped dinner that night in favour of crawling into our hammocks. Later that night Pen called me around 1 or 2 in the morning. She needed to pee and wasn’t so keen on walking into the jungle at night to do it on her own. However, I wasn’t so keen on getting up out of my hammock and mosquito net, putting shoes on and getting chewed alive by mozzies waiting for her. So we compromised. I’d keep talking to her so she could hear me, but got to stay in my hammock. 5 mins later she was back in her hammock and I was deep asleep again.

Day 3 (Day 2 camping)

Day two we went for a walk in the jungle during the day and were shown some trees that help with arthritis by eating the wood of the tree, a rubber tree that when you cut the bark creates latex as a sap to heal the wound, a fire tree…that had sap that had mosquito repelling

Making fish and chicken for dinner....the chicken sat in a bucket for 2 days covered in flies, but not a lid before they made it...Pen gave it a miss and fed it to the fish.
characteristics, but was also highly flammable. They showed us a red vine that when you cut open is hollow in the middle and has water, and they showed us old trees around 100 years old that when you hit them with the machete they sound all through the jungle. They explained that if you were lost or needed to communicate with other hunters this was how you did it. They also told us in really windy weather you never stand directly under big trees as sometimes the wind knocked them over. I found this really hard to imagine as the trees looked pretty sturdy and didn’t seem to be swaying much in the wind that was starting to pick up. 5 minutes later we heard a loud cracking sound and watched in amazement as some sort of palm split in half and crashed through the trees to the ground. Holy crap. Pen and I just stood there looking at the tree, and then looking at each other while Nilton gave us an “I told you so look”. Sadly round about now after an hour or two of walking it started to rain. They took us to one of the big

The campsite and the boys setting up Pen's "bed".
old 100 year old trees and we stood in the big folds of the trunk to try and stay dry. The one rule they stressed to us for the jungle was never put your hands or body where you can’t see what’s there….just in case something bites, stings, or attacks you. So it was a bit scary stepping in close to these trees….but during the day seems to be relatively safe. As it turned out we waited for about 15 mins but it started seriously pouring down and we were getting soaked and Pen and I got worried about our cameras so we headed back.

The rain started to tail off a little bit and we were able to make and eat a relatively dry lunch although Pen and I both had reservations about what we were eating. The fish we’d caught the night before had been sitting in the bottom of the boat all night, and all day. The temperature was around 30 degrees and there were flies and wasp looking things covering every inch of every fish. Hmmmmmm. However the boys went to work cutting and gutting, and threw the fish in a pot and boiled up

This fellow welcomed us into camp!
a fish soup with boiled green banana’s which tasted amazingly like hard potatoes. It was a pretty good lunch! At this point I’d decided to go for a swim in the river with my mask and snorkel to see if I could see anything, and have a wee wash. All I saw was a few green and yellow plants about 5 inches from my nose…then nothing but reddish brown water. I went for a little swim out towards the middle of the river, gave myself a little scrub in all the right places and started to get a little nervous about the fact that I couldn’t see or hear anything in the water…but they could sense me! So out I got. Penny had been watching me with a small look of concern on her face, and had denied point blank even considering going for a swim. So that was the end of that.

We had spaghetti for dinner, it was fantastic after all the rice we’d been having! They also made an amazing juice using 2 oranges, 1 lemon and a bit of sugar. Then I managed to convince Penny to go for a swim, so we went in

Fishing for lunch!
and mucked around for a bit, washed up in the river and got out. Went out for a walk to see what creepy critters we could find. It was still light out but we rowed upstream to the trail they had in mind then started walking. We found a big hole where a tree had fallen over and it created a small mud cave about 3 feet high, and about 5 feet wide. The boys were pretty certain it was an Anaconda home, but sadly no one was home. We kept on walking for another hour or two keeping our eyes peeled for anything interesting…but nothing. So with only a few minutes till night started to fall we sat and waited. Once dusk was upon us we got the flashlights out and started making our way back the way we came. This time it was different. We found scorpions, tree frogs, tarantula’s and all sorts of freaky insects. Unfortunately in trying to show us a yellow poisonous tree frog Nilton got a little to close and it jumped in his eye. He was in considerable pain, and we tried washing it out with water from our bottles but it wasn’t

Gutting lunch
helping. There was nothing we could do except keep heading back to the boat and the camp. He said he was ok, so we kept going. I saw a bit of eyeshine and pointed it out to the guys, Olympio and I started creeping closer to examine. Then Olympio got closer and closer, then lunged for whatever it was. He came up with a bird! It was a wild chicken which is ground dwelling and we got a few pics of it before putting it back. Shortly after we found a black scorpion on a tree, Penny got close up to get a photo of it when the bugger jumped off the tree towards her. She just about changed the colour of her shorts. The guys were busy trying to catch it and get it up for us to take a photo, however Penny was no longer interested…I did manage to get a couple more photo’s for us though. We made our way back to the boat, and then went looking for snakes or caiman in the little lagoon before heading back to the camp. Nilton put more water on his eye, but his eye was very red and bloodshot,

Leftovers=Piranha food!
and seemed a bit swollen. Although we were looking for either snakes or caiman, we didn’t have much luck. We did a bit more spear fishing, Penny missed a few more times, and then as we were about to give up on caiman the boys saw some eyeshine. As we got closer, Olympio stood on the front of the boat as Nilton slowly paddled us closer to the shore. Then Olympio got the fletcha and jabbed at the water, when we got the lights on him he had a little caiman pinned down, he wasn’t hurting it, just had it pinned so it couldn’t get away. It was a baby caiman about 2 feet long! Awesome! So he passed it over and I got to hold the little fella before we put him back. That was soooo cool. Pen opted out of holding him cuz she felt sorry for the little fella, and I have to admit…so did I. When we got back to camp Nilton suggested we move campsites, and Pen and I were fine with that, so the next morning we were moving camp downriver towards the village.

That night we went to bed most satisfied until

Jungle bed...let's hope it doesn't rain tarp yet!
around 1 in the morning there was some kafuffle and Nilton was shouting at me, so when I got up, organised and unzipped my mozzy net I saw him holding this massive thing the size of a dog by the tail. At first through my bleary eyed, sleep muddled eyes I thought he was holding an armadillo, but looking again it had fur, so maybe it was an anteater, but looking again it appeared to be some sort of possum looking thing. He started hitting it with a stick to make it squeal which didn’t impress me much, and by this point penny was looking out too. He explained that it was trying to eat our food, and that it lives in the water. Penny swore it was a white tipped water rat similar to what they have in Oz where she comes from. This thing didn’t look anything like a rat to me, and if was a rat I’d hate to have to tackle that one in my house. So eventually after getting a few photo’s we went back to bed and Nilton let the poor bugger go. What a day! Still not snakes though!

Day 4

Jungle art, a picture of me carved into a mushroom by our guides.
(Day 3 camping)
We jumped in the boat after breakfast which was jam and bread for me, and egg and rolls for Pen and went out to the lagoon we were in the night before to see what we could see. The boys told us that it was good for seeing wildlife. We went quite a ways downstream and then got to the lagoon where we went…Piranha fishing! It was roasting hot though, must have been close to 35c or more. Within minutes of starting Penny caught the first one, and it was pretty big, about the size of a hamster. It had ridiculously sharp teeth, they really were like little razors. We caught a few, as well as a few catfish, sardine like fish, and another fish that was local to the area. I inadvertently upset Nilton because everytime I caught a fish, I would throw it back in the water. Whereas everyone else was catching them and keeping them. So I kept the last few I caught on the condition that we throw another one back as a thank you to the river for supplying us with so many fishies. That seemed to keep the peace. Then we

If it looks like a stick, that is because it is a stick insect.
pulled ashore, and the guys made piranha soup. The piranha was actually pretty good, less bony than the other fish and not too fishy a taste. While the guys were cooking the lunch Pen and I were fascinated by the local river hawks. The fish we’d thrown in was floating because Olympio had but a bit of branch through it, but the piranha’s weren’t eating it. Instead two hawks were eying it up, and Penny was determined to get a photo of them grabbing the piranha off the river. Sadly she gave me the camera while she was eating, and while I was doing something we both managed to miss it, but fortunately it missed too. So the vigil continued, the hawks were screaming, and flying from tree to tree, before finally one flew down and grabbed the fish, right out of the water. Except I was in the jungle, and Penny wasn’t looking. Awesome all the same! We packed up everything and headed off to our new campsite, and along the way Penny and her bionic fish eyes saw a river otter, he disappeared into a tributary we were passing so we slowly paddled up to it. There we

Another type of spider, maybe of the St Andrews type?
saw 3 of them and the biggest one was defending their territory with barks and yips while the other two disappeared until finally the biggest one jumped up on the banks and ran for the jungle. That was amazing as well! We got to our new camp and there was a fallen tree in the middle of the cleared area, and it had a beautiful pink and purple orchid growing in between one the trunk and one of the branches. We unloaded all our stuff, and then realised there were fire ants crawling all over everything. We’d put our stuff down right in their marching line. They were marching in a straight line down the fallen tree with the orchid. Ooops. Fire ants have a pretty sore sting, but we managed to get them off everything without any bites while we moved our stuff out of their way. Nilton went down to wash at the river, and came back saying his eye was pretty bad, and that he was losing peripheral vision. So Penny and I talked and decided maybe we’d better get to the village where maybe he could get something to help before it got any worse. He

Is that jungle jewerly? Nah, it is just mushroom flowers!
actually suggested to us first that he and Olympio were going to the village to get medicine…and would we a) be ok for a few hours on our own, and b) be able to give him some money for medicine which he could give us back when we got back to Iquitos. So we said we’d be okay for 3 hours while he went to the village and came back. We played a bit of poker on my ipod and waited for a while before going to bed around 9pm. They left around 8pm and in the end they didn’t get back till about 3am! It took them over 6 hours…and the whole time they were gone it was pouring down with rain! Fortunately Pen and I managed to avoid getting stung by anything terribly poisonous, thus avoiding a cruel, and painful death.

Day 5 (back to the lodge)
The next day we spoke to Nilton and were worried that his eye wasn’t any better even after his going to the village. We asked him if it would be better if we stayed at the lodge, and he said probably. I was pretty disappointed because I wanted to try

Fire tree, this is traditional jungle insect repellent. Smells just like Rid.
setting up my sleeping system on my own. However, if his eye was getting worse the closer to the village he was the better. The village didn’t have a hospital or anything, but it had faster boats which could get him to Iquitos quickly if necessary. So that morning we did a walk around the new campsite then after lunch we headed back to the lodge, thus breaking off our 8 day camping trip in the jungle early. On the way though we did stop at a secret spot where Nilton took us for a short walk up a river bank to see a little family of squirrel monkey’s living in a hollowed out tree about 20 feet up from us. That was pretty cool, and they were pretty cute little buggers! So we arrived back into the lodge just before lunch, and were impressed with how much we’d seen in the few days we got to camp in the jungle….but still no snake!! Next up….a few days at the lodge.

Additional photos below
Photos: 65, Displayed: 47



Jungle, jungle...

Hairy, Scary and maybe named Mary. This is a Tarantula Rosa ( Pink Tarantula )

Hello, Mr Anaconda, are you in there. This is the biggest snake pit we found.

Black scorpion, the deadliest scorpion in the jungle. This little blighter jumped at Penny we she tried to take a photo of it.

Scott says this is a wild chicken....hmmmm. What do you think?

Moose on the bow as we get ready to head down to our next campsite.

Our guide trying to wash the frog poison from his eye. Ouch! Watch out Kermit the frog is dangerous!

This is the culprit that jumped onto to Niltons eye.

Up the river without a paddle. We went to see the monkeys, and left the paddle behind.

Passengers, there were butterflies, and moths everywhere, and they weren't shy to beg a lift!

White tip water rat, he was unsuccessful at raiding our food supplies in the middle of the night.

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