One Million steps and few thousand more travel blog

Rare Andean Cock of the Rock

Yellow throated thingamygig

Smaller birds

Chestnut bellied Hummingbird

Three hummingbirds around feeder

Spectacled Bear

Close up of Spectacled bear with breakfast

Higham Bingham Train

Classy Joint

Woke up at 4am with heartburn and stomach pain which was only stopped by a high number of return visits to the toilet. As I was up and had been for some time I joined the birdwatchers at 06:30, hoping this would be helpful to my current position. I am glad that I did as we saw luckily the Andrean Cock of the forest, albeit from quite a distance. This brightly coloured bird is the Peruvian National bird and not expected to be seen for at least another two months due to the winter period. But there it was and later we spotted a second bird, so I am beginning to think that I am blessed. We spotted many other birds including humming birds as we wandered around their grounds over the next 90 minutes. I am glad I went and felt slightly better for the air.

Meet up with Alison, Dave and Irene to go visit two spectacled bears ( male and female) that the lodge was caring for before trying to re introduce back into the wild following an enforced life in a circus. The tour was particularly special as we were the only ones that were there.

We had the priveldge of seeing these bears at very close quarters and watch them have their breakfast. It seems if Paddington Bear from deepest darkest Peru does exist.

Following our breakfast we had a Orchid Tour of the forest and this was the best time to go see them. We were not alone for this tour, well at least at the beginning as an American mother and daughter joined as temporarily.

The surprisie for all of us most of the orchids were microscopic and required a magnifying glass to even see the tiny shapes. We learnt much about the orchid, it's structures, sex life and reproductive genres. It seems we have been missing a significant part of our understanding of plants for the past 50 odd years. I don't know how we have managed to survive without this detail!!!!!!

Following our thanks we packed our bags in order to leave the hotel and commence our journey back to Cusco.

It was about 2 pm as we sat I the Belmond Sanctuary Hotel at MP gates having afternoon tea, that I started to feel drained and sleepy. But we still had another wonderful journey ahead of us was the Higham Bingham train ride back to Rio Grande. The Higham Bingham is an Oreint Express type train, with silver service and high class onboard entertainment. Or should say it was high class until we brought it down to our level after a bottle of champagne and some table dancing by Irene. There was only 15 passengers on this train built for 64 and the three piece band along with the waiters and the other guests were soon all dancing and singing at the tops of their voices. Wonderful, the meal and the ambience was a perfect end to our trip to MP.

We collected the coach at Rio GRande and had a 90 minute drive on the roughest roads/ dirt tracks back to Cusco. It was in the pitch black and driven by a driver who looked 16 and had brought his girlfriend along to keep him company. Arrived back at the hotel feeling worst for wear and went straight to bed, leaving my poor wife to try to pack the bags before flying out to Amazon.

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