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Published: December 19th 2012
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 the snake tree
, because it peels its skin of just like a snake. The next tree that he described was the Justice Tree
. The amazonian people used this tree to teach adulterers a lesson. This long tree is protected by ants who eat away at any parasitic plants. It is called the Justice Tree because the natives used it to tie up adulterers
to teach them a lesson. The ants in the tree would bite at their flesh. The last tree that we saw was a walking tree
, which is able to move around during the year.
After our tree lesson, we took a 3 km canoe ride down a river, where we saw different types of birds including a tucan and macaw. The pictures did not turn out so well, because they were camouflage high within the trees, and the zoom on our camera was not the greatest.
We finally arrived at a tower, where we climbed numerous stairs to reach the top. Another preparation for the inca trail. The view from the top was breathtaking.
Our next stop was a lake where we spotted turtles, caimens and a lizard. Then it was a 5km hike back to our boat for the trip back to the lodge. On the hike back we saw monkeys, which is rare our guide told us. I also got very sick, especially since it was that time of the month. I was in a a lot of pain and dehydrated. I ended up walking the first 4 km fine, but on the last kilometer,
I started felling really sick and started vomiting. It did not help that I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and pants (What was I thinking?). We eventually made it to the boat, to my relief. When we reached the lodge, I took an advil and went straight to sleep.
My sister brought me lunch when I woke up around 1:30pm. I started feeling a lot better and around 4:30pm, I joined the group for a tour of the botanical gardens behind the lodge.
At the botanical gardens, we saw a ginger tree, a tumeric herb, a tree where the sap (red like blood) can heal wounds, and a tree used to make Viagra (Para Para)- the leaves are elastic and if you bend them they can return back to their original state. We also saw a vine called Ayahuasca, which is used as a hallucinogen by shamens to guide individuals to solve their problems. Una de Gato, is another tree that is used to treat cancer and stomach ulcers.
At the end of the botanical gardens tour, we got to take pictures of 2 domesticated Macaws and after a long day, we relaxed in hamics and
enjoyed the Amazonian views and noises.
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