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Published: June 21st 2017
Geo: -12.6034, -69.1919
Again much of the experience of visiting the jungle was in the getting there and back, with just one day of activites there - a very long day beginningat 4.00am!
So we left Cusco by plane to Puerto Maldonado - only 45 mins, but lots of waiting around before hand. Willian, our guide, met us as we walked out into the steamy carpark onto a mini bus, shared with a german couple and their daughter and guide.We then drove for an hour along a very bumpy, muddy track to the river and onto a smooth open boat with an outboard engine for another hour and finally walked up loads of wooden steps and along a jungle track to the lodge, arriving mid afternoon. We were very well looked after, with bags carried for us, snacks provided - brazil nuts and banana crisps, tiny sweet bananas and a tasty rice,cheese,egg concoction wrapped up in a banana leaf.
Willian was a bit off hand at first, but he was a great guide having lived in the jungle all his life, withgood English.I became quite fond of him after 3 days of his company,meal times and all excursions,stories of his 4yr old
daughter,his ambitions,etc. The lodge wascomfortable, with beds with mosquito nets, a room open one side to the jungle, bathroom,good food, but no electricity after 9.00pm,so in bed before then, and no fans. After 2 nightsand a change of clothes every time we walked out our clothes were permanently damp and we were permanently sweaty.
The first afternoon we walked through the jungle to climb a 32 meter tower to look down on the canopy.The first thing that strikes you about the dense jungle is the noise - birds, cicardas, frogs, howler monkeys, macaws, etc. The noise goes on all night but is louder when the monkeys are greeting the dawn. On our full day we made four trips fromthe lodge, returning for short rests and refreshments; firstly we walked to the river as it got light, took a boat for 30 mins up river, walked again and then a got on a punted boat on a lake. We fished for Piranhas and saw a flock of 'stinky birds' but the otters failed to show. Back to the lodge for juice and buns anda shower, then a 30 min walk to a clay cliff where with excellent timing a large flockof
Macaws,about 25 were there to greet us. After lunch and a sleep we went down river again by boat to a medicinal garden where a Shaman ( witch doctor) explained how he cured various illnesses. Afterthe 3rd shower of the daywe went stumbled out at night to see a huge turantula peep out of his nest. Together with different species of monkey, frogs and muddy capybara we saw quite a lot of wildlife.
We had been lucky with rain in this rainy season until the morning we left when the heavens opened and we paddled through puddles to the boat, and bumped very slowly in the van to the airport, pleased to be flying to a dryer, cooler climate in Arequipa, Southern Peru.
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