we are now in cusco after our trip to the jungle, we were supposed to be at lake titicaca by now but the plane was delayed as the airport decided to close at two o´clock today! so we are slumming it in a nice hotel in cusco (courtesy of LAN Peru - three meals included of course!).
The jungle was awesome! but very hot and humid temperatures reached about 32/33 degrees in the day. Lots of mosquitos who apparently favour the female of the species as carly was bitten to pieces whilst craig received just the one bite throughout! carly is not amused however. on the first day we arrived at 1300 and were greeted at the airport by three people from the lodge with a board and craig skinner on it!, then we were taken to the lodge (after de bus-ing to cross a large river in a tiny boat!) which was approximately 20km from the town and 6km down a dirt track which was back breaking. our guide, who´s name was Freddy took us for a stroll around the grounds after a three curse lunch, which included us seeing a very poisinous orange headed black snake! the walk was then swiftly followed by dinner which was another three courses!. an early night followed as the meeting time was 0430 the next morning, although the electric is only turned on from 1730 until 2200 anyway so not much else to do in the pitch black.
the next morning we were up before the sun to take a car then a boat (along a very very very foggy river!) to watch lots of makaws (picture a giant parrot) get their daily fix of minerals and salt from a clay bank on the river; lots of birds and lots of noise!. we then turned the boat around and drifted (literally) down river whilst eating our breakfast of boiled eggs, pancake, rolls and coffee to sandoval lake which was roughly another hour in the (small) boat; the boat was made of wood and had wooden benches to sit on. at the entrance to the lake we had a 3km hike through the jungle, after roughly 1km our guide spotted a rattle snake in the bushes! lots of birds, butterflies, lizards on the way to the lake, on arrival at the lake we then got into a smaller (even closer to the water) boat and set off through a creek to the lake. out on the large lake we quickly spotted numerous large caimen in the water, some got to within 10 meters or so of the boat! turtles and more birds were also out on the lake. we moored up on the edge of the lake in the middle of nowhere, and entered the jungle again, this time the guide said ´the monkeys are coming´ his intuition proved to be more than right and we were quickly surrounded by monkeys eating from the trees literally right above our head - so much so that the nuts they were dropping were nearly hitting us on the head!. after lunch we headed back to the trail which lead to the river for our boat ride home, by the end of the day our bums were rather numb from all the wooden seats! the locals must have leather behinds!!. once back at the lodge we were free to chill out until dinner at 1830; which we did mostly in a hammock.
the next day was another early start 0630 for breakfast before our 6 km trek through the jungle (by this time we were the only guests at the lodge and it was exclusive to us!! vip) at breakfast our guide asked us if we were woken up at 0410 by a JAGUAR! apparently it passed through the lodge area, this proved to be true as we found numerous fresh tracks on our trek. on the trek the guide decided to show us a tarantula - he proceeded to find its nest and poke it with a stick until it came out! it was bigger than your face and as black as night! at the end of the trek we took another small wooden boat down a creek, where we saw caimen up close, more birds, spiders and fish! after a light snack we (tried and failed miserably) to catch some piranah, after that we headed off back upstream. as we were about to dock we saw a giant water spider on the waters edge! back at the lodge after a further 6km in the midday heat and time for lunch and some much needed chill out time.
day four was another 0630 start. after breakfast we set off to the animal centre where animals that are endangered or injured stay to recooperate ready to be released back into the wild. before reaching the centre though we took a the canopy walk. this proved to be much scarier than anticipated. we walked along the first canopy- very long and bouncy! then at the end had to climb a very tall ladder to a kind of tree house- climbing the ladder was very scary as no room for error. then we took a short walk to the nxt canopy- now this one was ridicuously long and rickerty and almost vertical at the end!! at the end we 45 meters in the air and could see for miles.
day 5 we left the lodge at 0800 and headed for the puerto maldonado market and then to the airport.
we had a brill time at the lodge followed by a free night at a very nice Eco Hotel (and spa).
anyway better go now and fill up on the free food.
see you soonxxxx
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