Breakfast was early, 6:30. We had to go to the new farm and clear land for the flowers to be planted. This involved machetes, my favourite tool. After carving a stick to lift up vines and make the job of machete easier we got to work clearing all the vegetation to less then an inch high. This is back bent tiring work that I quite love. We even got a thunderstorm and a full drenching to cool us down before we left.We came back dripping and exhausted. I was grinning, and it was only 10:30. Time for a shower and a good read in bed before the afternoon activities and lunch.
I had a relaxed afternoon after the work of the morning. We went to the canopy to watch for birds. The canopy has now been repaired and we can go up their for activities. It is a 10 min walk out to the ladder and then a very scary walk up a rope bridge to the platform. The platform sits in a massive tree and is 42 meters up in the sky. So we look out over the tops of the trees and see the green sea of jungle
below us. It is really beautiful. The sound of birds and frogs is enormous and after awhile you can pick out the different calls of the different birds. We saw parrots and more parrots and toucans and others that I can't remember the name of. The light turned golden as the sun went down and we had to descend from the canopy in time to walk back through the jungle to camp before it got dark. Jacob told me that they went out and got the motion sensor cameras and checked out the pictures. Walking around in that jungle with us are wild pigs, crazy human volunteers, a puma, and an ocelot, not to mention all the animals that did not get captured on film. It's hard to believe, because when you are walking around, you see very little other than lizards or tiny monkeys.
The morning came quick, and my job was to go get gravel again. The water has dropped so our boat had to park farther away from the grave piles. It meant walking further with the sacks on our backs and the last bit through water. We thought we would be okay to get away,
but we loaded it too full and had to try to push the boat into deeper water. It didn't work and so we ended up unloading the boat half way until we could push it, and then loading the rest back on. Wet, sandy, exhausting. I till like it. It feels good to work the body hard and we get a half hour boat ride on either side of the slogging. This time I spied a caiman on the shore on our way there. On our return, I thought that we would have to haul the bags to the new leopard cage, but it turns out that our job was done. Yippeee. I headed for the shower, I'm learning to wash my clothes in the shower with me. It's the only way to keep ahead of the mud. We always get a long break at lunch and that day I needed it. I ended up clearing out one of the unused cages in the afternoon. The flood had left everything covered in inches of mud. Kira (the wild dog)'s cage was no exception. Most of the wooden walls and structures in the cage were rotted so we took crowbar and
hammer to it and knocked everything done. When we'd hauled away the rubbish, we then had to bail out the pools. They were deep in mud and water and it was a brutal job to get rid of it all. All in all, I deserved the beer I walked to at Amazon planet before dinner.
Our last day dawned with me assigned to the new leopard cage. We were digging the foundation trenches. Another morning of heavy duty labour. We walked by the present cage any number of times, and Preciosa was snoozing on the logs laid out. She is one beautiful cat and deserves a better home, so the work was worth it. I got to machete roots out of the way since my section of trench was full of tree, always my favourite thing to do. At lunch, we got a treat. One of the staff (Roger) worked as a pastry chef in France for 12 years. Jenny, (volunteer) convinced him to make a dessert with her and so we had a lemon custard square at lunch. Regardless of the very basic ingredients here, it was extremely good.
The afternoon was my favourite, animal feeding. For the last time, I went in the enclosure with Theo the Tapir and he didn't nibble my hip. I had young spider monkeys crawl on my back while I was cleaning up. I got to talk to all the little one, one more time. I even got to work the ropes for the safety door of the red howler enclosure. It was a lovely last afternoon. Beers at Amazon Planet, packing and then bed, tomorrow we would be on our last adventure.
Good Night and Sweet Dreams
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