September 25th, 2008 – by: gnatalia
Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Today we board yet another plane for a half an hour flight to Puerto Maldonado
on our way to the Amazon Rainforest. In this village, the common means of transportation is by motorcycle, which often involved fitting as many passengers as you would fit in a car onto a single seat motorcycle, I kid you not. Talk about carpooling. Here, we are greeted with a tropical beverage and we board a motorized boat which takes us on a 5 hour ride on the Amazon river to the Tambopata Reserve and the Wasai Lodge. Along the way as we see the smoke in the horizon, we confirm the sad truth that the Amazon is being burned by humans, hundreds of acres per hour, for the purpose of building cattle ranches for the meat being later shipped to the US (think about this when you eat your next hamburger).
The Amazon River, Peru
If we don't do something about it now, sadly it's only a matter of time before the Amazon rainforest will be lost. By the river we see turtles, capybaras, and lots of birds. It feels like the longest ride but we finally get there. At night we embark on a night walk through the jungle with just our flashlights in our hands. This is definetely not my thing, and I am terrified in the dark of something creepy or crawly getting on me. Thoughts of a tarantula or an anaconda give me the chills and I can't wait till we get bck to the lodge. The sky is lit up by a million stars and without our guide we would have never made it back but after years I guess he can navigate his way back to the lodge. After a nice dinner of vegetables and rice organically grown in the jungle, we are ready for bed.
The Amazon River, Peru
It's hard to settle down after coming from a big city into this quietness when all you hear is crickets hissing and bugs crashing into the netting surrounding your room. I'm literally cut off from communication with only pure wilderness around.
The next day, we awake at 4:30 in the morning and board the boat for a drive up the river to see the Mccaw clay lick. It is so dark and the river ride is very rough, it also starts to rain and I get scared not knowing how our captain can navigate this curving river in the dark with so many tree trunks and debris floating around. One wrong move and our boat can crash and flip, but we make it safe to our destination. We see the maccaws, parrots and parakeets, hundreds of them, from the shore. There are many small green parakeets and all kinds of multi-colored parrots.
Wasai Lodges, Tambopata Reserve, Peru
The red and yellow/blue ones sit high up in the tree branches and wait, taking turns alternating with the smaller green ones. It's pretty interesting to see so many colorful birds congregate on one wall. They do this to enjoy their diet of mineral salts and eat clay to cleanse their digestive systems. We have a breakfast picnic on the shore of the river and after many pics we return to the lodge. I spent the remainder of the day lounging around and reading in the hammock.
The next day we say goodbye to this beautiful country as we return to our homeland. I will never forget all the fun adventures we had and how much culture we took in.