Thankfully we have survived our 9 day tour in the jungle with a mear few mosquito bites. No jaguar attacks, snake or spider bites, but a few funny encounters with the wildlife!
It wasn't long into the trip before I felt the adrenalin pumping! The road we travelled on was probably the worst I've ever been on in my life. A narrow dirt road, really uneven from loads of landslides & a complete sheer drop to the side with about a 1000 metre drop. I had to close my eyes for most of the journey!
We travelled throught the cloud forest & stopped to view the "Cock of the rock " birds performing their "display" for the ladies. Beautiful birds but obviously the display was not good enough as no girls showed up! We enjoyed our first night in the forest sleeing in little huts which were pretty much open air under mossie nets. You could enjoy all the sounds!
Shortly after sunrise we carried on our bus journey but were stopped soon after leaving as there had been a landslide preventing passage on the road. People had arrived with tools & our bus driver decided he could
sqeeze though the remaining bit of road, Luckily we were aloud to get out & walk as I wasn't confident that the bus wouldn't topple over the edge!! We made it safely to join the boat & loaded up with all the supplies needed for 9 days. At this point I should mention that the Orlando the cook was amazing, he produced fantastic 3 course dinners everynight, he seemed to have a never ending box of food, similar to Mary Poppin's handbag!
We arrived at the next lodge & enjoyed our first night walk around the camp. it was a bit disconcerting that within a few metres of the huts we found a snake & a tarantula! That night I had to get up & go to the toilet which was about 20 meters from my hut in the pitch black, I decided I wouldn't be having a bedtime cuppa anymore!
The next day we went further up the Manu river into the special reserve zone. Our camp here was much more basic, very simple huts, no electricity & cold showers but somehow that was more fun! We had a wonderful afternoon on a catermaran on the lake. We saw
about 100 different species of birds, amazing colours & some giant otters & caimans. It was such a peaceful place & the sun was shining, all the birds were singing. Mark said he imagined the garden of eden to have been like that. When I return to the stresses of work that will be my "special place" I drift off to. On the way back to camp we were excited to spot some Jaguar tracks, the camp keeper said he had thought he'd heard a jaguar after we had left. That, along with the horror stories our guide told us that evening of snake bites & jaguar attacks led to a rather restless nights sleep!!
We awoke to the noise of howler monkeys, incredible noisy creatures giving us our 5am wake up call! We spent some more time hiking & on the lake. When we got back to our huts I went to grab my towel & just outside the netting thought i'd seen a spider, mark assured me it was a plant but I wasn't convinced, after further investigation it was identified as a Wolf spider, whose bite can kill a child & it was only a few feet
from my bed, great!! There was plenty of holes in the netting nearby, again a bit of a restless night!!!!
The next day we moved on to another lodge from which we had an early morning viewing of macaws at a claylick. It was a fantastic hide & amazing to this these huge colourful birds in the wild. That night we were all very excited to have a hot shower. I was just getting undressed & noticed what i thought was a nice ornament on the back of the door, as I got closer to admire it I noticed it was breathing!! A huge frog! I still had my shower, quickly & didn't enjoy opening the door with him sitting there, luckily he didn't jump!! We spent the last few days relaxing at a lovely lodge which had hammocks & a hot spring nearby. It has been one of the highlights of the trip so far, however it was nice to get back to a normal bed with no creepy crawlies! Tomorrow we start the inca trail to Maccu Picchu which is very exciting (except for all the uphill walking!!!) so i'd better get some sleep!
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