Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just Like Jungle Book: The Peruvian Amazon

When I started blogging about my Peruvian vacation, I explained there were two parts to the vacation.  Part 1 was the 5 day, 4 night hike to Machu Picchu.  Part 2 was 5 days, 4 nights in the jungle in the Peruvian Amazon, the rain forest.

We flew straight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and the climate difference between the two locations was noticeable immediately.   Living in Phoenix, Arizona, we have almost no humidity except a couple months and even then it's not much when compared to other places, like the rain forest. I knew it would be humid but I didn't know it would be really humid. 

The boat we took to the lodge
On the Tambopata 
We booked our trip with Rainforest Expeditions and stayed at the Refugio Amazonas lodge.  Rainforest Expeditions picked us up at the airport and took us to their office where we repacked luggage to only take what was required and we were loaded onto a bus. I wish I had pictures of the homes we passed.  The homes weren't even shacks.  They were more like 2x4's with plastic tarps.  I don't know if they ate there or what or maybe, hopefully, they were temporary shelters for the field workers.  After the bus ride we climbed into boats for a 2 hour boat ride.  Our plane arrived late which meant we were arriving to the lodge late and wouldn't be able to do our caiman hunting unless we did it on our way to the lodge.  We did see baby caiman and momma too.  

A caiman sunning himself.  Or is it a herself?  I can't tell with that smile
We finally arrived right before dinner and had our orientation.  Wear bug spray, put snacks/food in the lockers and don't go into the jungle without a guide otherwise you might get lost.  To be honest I was very miserable that first evening.  It was hot.  I mean very hot and humid and sticky.  The bugs were attacking me and I was NOT a happy camper.  I wondered what the heck I got myself into.

The lodge supported ecotourism and being one with nature.  There was electricity in the main area twice a day and the rooms were lit with kerosene lanterns.  The soaps were biodegradable and made brazilian nuts and smelled wonderful. The rooms had three walls with the 4th being open to the jungle and you sleep under mosquito nets. Imagine falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle where dozens of things come to life at night and it is right next to you.  Literally.

Our room number and the light for our entry and bathroom
Out beds, mosquito nets and the outside jungle with our clothes hanging out to dry
I slept well under my mosquito net and woke up the next morning with a better mind set than the evening before.  Day 1 of the jungle adventure begins.


Johann said...

Fantastic! This is one of my absolute dreams. Visiting the Amazon jungle is top of my list. I really plan to do the Jungle Ultra one day when I'm big.

Emily W said...

Boy, I am not sure I could get that close to nature! I am sure it was worthwhile, though. I am enjoying reading about your adventure.