La Selva = Tambopata Jungle Reserve

Published: January 25th 2009
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Canopy BridgeCanopy BridgeCanopy Bridge

This canopy bridge was 130 feet above the ground and and very long. I loved it but Bob wasn´t as sure. We went up three ladder flights to begin the canopy walk. It was wonderful to see all the trees below. I especially liked the palms.
Hola los todos!!
As we arrived by plane to Puerto Maldonaldo via a short trip - 45 mins, we quickly saw the canopy of trees covering the earth. And yes there was the RIO winding continuously throughout the jungle. We stepped off the plane expecting the slam of humidity and heat, yet it wasn´t that bad at all. The airport building was open air, we loved that it was very small and unassumming. Outside the taxis were 3 wheeled motorcycles with a bench seat in the rear. Our flight was late so we had to wait a bit for our transport. Then our open air safari-like bus appeared and took us through the city of Puerto Maldanaldo- that was an experience in itself.

There are 2 rivers that come together at PM- Tambopata and Madre de Dios. We stepped into our river taxi and off we went down the river with its very strong and brown current to our lodge in la selva. The rio was much wider than the Sacramento river- approx. 1/3 mile wide.

After arriving we were told that there were very few guests at this time which pleased us to no end. There was the
Aud on the canopy bridgeAud on the canopy bridgeAud on the canopy bridge

Here is a pretty good view of how the bridge looks for the person looking down. I felt fairly safe although the rubber boots were not very good at gripping the wooden surface.
immediate and never ending jungle environment- a green all around us but what the real enviro expression is audio- the constant cacaphony of different noises!! The sounds here are unending from morning tothrough the night. We heard birds, frogs, insects, water droplets, howler monkeys..... just like Disnelyland´s Jungle ride as kids. Our guide was Luis and he let us know we were going for a walk through the jungle right after our light meal. We had to wear rubber boots and boy did we grow to love them because we slooshed through wet palm leaves, other compost, mud, and it helped Andrea be less nervous of stepping on something we shouldn´t. In just a couple of hours we saw bats hanging upside down in a big hollow log, a very large hairy "chicken" taranchula, spiders under leaves, very big grasshopppers & catydids, a skinny snake about a meter long . . . and I forgot to mention that most of this was in the dark!! Oh, with flashlights- and about that Bobert- remember he is not the normal Peruvian height- his head was a great catcher´s mit for all the bugs one would not like to have land on one´s

This photo was taken just as we began our morning canoeing along the shore of Lake Sandoval. We saw turtles, a variety of birds and monkeys.
face or hair.

Our room was a thatched hut was where you can see sunlight between the boards, & walls are 3 feet high with mosquito screening from there on up--Oh, it does work fairly well but in our hut we had our pet 2 1/2 in. cockroach, and Jhon (our amigo) had his pet taranchula in his room!! At least we had some friends to keep us company. Then we had mosquito netting over our beds that did do the job once you killed the remaining dos-tres mosquitoes who infiltrated our defense! We really enjoyed its simplicity and privacy. Aud contemplated whether she should bring the hairdryer. She finally said forget it and as it turned out that was a good idea because we had electricity only from 6 pm to 10 pm. Oh, and the shower was a nice and refreshing COLD!! Andrea´s favorite!

The sunrise this morning was incredible even from the bed. The clouds were high and bright pink with a beautiful blue inbetween. I got up to film a few shots down by the rio and I´m really glad I did because they are fantastic-- "Tri County Fair¨quality!!! Look out Ralph- he´s back!
Boating into the swampBoating into the swampBoating into the swamp

This is a great example of moving from big, open Lake Sandoval into a narrow swamp to find the canoe landing, then putting our boots back on to brave the extremely wet, slippery muddy trail. I grew to love my boots day after day because my feet stayed clean.

The next day we were scheduled to travel an hour down the rio to an animal preserve. It was difficult to understand Luis at first, but he quickly grew on us and we always had Jhon to translate! We were also gong to visit a tree canopy which I just love that kind of height stuff!!?¿?¿?¿ Jhon seems very happy, excited and relaxed being on this enviro respit. I think he has found a new friend in Luis which is great. Another view of the life besides Cusco and the Andes mountains! We visited animals in transition- (from private poor ownership into recovery) in cages at a volunteer reserve which included a jaguar (very cool), tapir, macaws, parrots, monkeys, and others I do not remember the names of, we move on to the Jungle Canopy walk. I took 12 valiums and a Pisco Sour and off we went. We needed to climb up a three story base structure and there it was- the long, uphill, hanging walkway- In our group was a fun engineer from NY and he helped me by saying, hey this would never be approved in the US, YOU NEED STAINLESS STEEL!! YOU NEED STAINLESS STEEL!!
Squirrel MonkeysSquirrel MonkeysSquirrel Monkeys

I loved this. The day before we had seen a variety of monkeys that were in captivity for rehabiltation. One of them was the small Squirrel monkey. On Lake Sandoval we came upon several trees on the shoreline where there was a population of over 100 monkeys eating and jumping from limb to limb. Incredible!
Oh well, up went Bobert rather stiff like and all the way to the top. Of course to make the venture interesting many of the cross slats to step on were either broken or gone and at one point there was a hole on the netting that was suppose to keep you from falling into the jungle fungi! Guess they only lose 50% of the guests they bring here, they thought a good percentage. Well we all made it to the top and what a view and what was soooo amazing was just how flat the top of the canopy was!

I would like to continued to our day hiking into Tambopata National Jungle Reserve toward Lake Sandoval and the night hike the same evening through a swamp of all things, but Andrea y yo have a plane to catch in about 3 hours. So much more to say . . . the typical food, fruits on trees, the diets of the animals, traveling along the river bank, the sunrises and most important another adventure in the special country of Peru.

See you very soon on the home turf!
Boberto y Andrea

Additional photos below
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Walking through a swamp at night!Walking through a swamp at night!
Walking through a swamp at night!

I cannot believe I was brave enough to do this! We boated down river to Monkey Island, but because the river was so high the only way we could get there was to slosh up to my bottom, filling my boots in an eekie black water swamp at sundown. We did see a lot of great wildlife though.

26th January 2009

Hola Nina....¡¡¡ What a great adventure you're having!!!....jungles...swamps...canopy bridges...hikes in river-swamp muck at night...I love it... hope you took a picture of your swamp hut. ¡Hasta luego! Cheryl

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