Rolene On Tour travel blog

 

Roland with our tour leader, Brendali

 

Our room at the lodge

 

le singe est dans l'arbre

Helene in the lodge

Walking Tree

 

The watchtower

and the view from the top

 

 

 

Macaws flying at sunset

 

 

Sunrise at Ox Bow lake

Cayman in the lake

Gone Fishing!

Piranha for lunch

 

 

Our tour group

Macaws in the tree

The lesser spotted Anteater

 

Howler Monkey

Helene at the botanical gardens

 

A little surprise in our bathroom


Hi again

Had a brilliant and memorable few days in the Amazonian rainforest. We set out on the 28th June and flew to Puerto Maldonado, then got a canoe connection to our beautiful eco lodge on the banks of the Tambopata river (which eventually leads to the Amazon). Our room was really lovely with one wall completely open out onto the jungle (mosquito nets and insect repellent at the ready!) From the comfort of our hammock, we saw monkeys going about their business just a few metres away...

On our first afternoon we went for a mini trek to a canopy tower which was 37 metres high up over the rainforest. Slightly scary on the ascent but totally worth it for an amazing bird´s eye view of the brazil nut trees and the various levels of jungle. We were lucky enough to be up there at sunset- stunning to see the changing light and the parrots and macaws flying home to roost.

The next day we had a highly unsociable 4am wake-up call for a trip to an oxbow lake to spot local wildlife. Unfortunately we weren´t lucky enough to see any of the giant otters that apparently hang out there, but we saw plenty of other stuff - caymans (caymen?), piranhas, herons, ibis, parrots, falcons etc. Back at the lodge we saw more monkeys and a slightly ungainly and funny-looking anteater loping around in the trees - even the locals were excited about seeing it, so made up a little for the lack of otter spotting!

Later the same afternoon (it´s a packed itinerary in the rainforest...) we went to visit a shaman at a medicinal botanical garden - many of the local people in the rainforest don´t have access to, or can´t afford, western medicine so they rely on traditional herbal cures. We were shown various plants and the guides explained what each one did - everything from love potions to anaesthetic to herbal viagra. We even had some practical demonstrations of leaves that contain a natural dye that turned our hands a fetching shade of Ribena (and lasted several days, nice.) We also had our faces painted bright orange with the contents of some other plant - hopefully that´ll explain the slightly bizarre photos where we look like kids who´ve broken into the facepainting kit...

Overall, we had a really special few days in the rainforest - so interesting to see the wildlife and jungle at such close quarters. And it helped that our lodge was gorgeous too - no electricity so all lit with candles and lamps at night. Cold showers were certainly bracing! Again we were treated to delicious food - thought you were supposed to lose weight travelling? Oh well, maybe when we get to Asia...

Next we headed back to Cusco for a night and a visit to a local village community - will post that as a separate entry.

Hasta luego amigos

xxx

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