The World Tour
It is amazing where a 40 minute plane from Cusco will take you. I was quite cold in Huaraz and Machu Picchu so we decided for a change to head to the jungle. Puerto Maldonado is close to Cusco so great for a short break. We didn´t really think about the temperature when we went there and all of a sudden were confronted with 40 degree heat, what a shock but it was beautiful. We got driven to the river in this fantastic Mercedes bus that had its own form of air conditioning - no windows, and these great wooden chairs. The Eco Amazonia lodge was a 2 hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado station and it felt great to be out on the water. The lodge itself is one of the better ones and it was beautiful, we were very excited as soon as we arrived to our welcome drink. There were a lot of couples there so it was quite romantic but a few solo travellers and groups as well. We spent 5 days there so got lots of opportunities to see wildlife - monkeys, caimans, birds, butterflies, insects, deer, squirrels, jungle guinea pigs and lots more. Michael even went on a boat trip (i was too scared, the boat was too flimsy for my liking) and got to see a 9 metre anaconda but I am glad I missed that! We had a 4 room lodge to ourselves and it was great. It only had cold water (which was fine until it started raining on day 3 and i had a nasty cold!) and electricity was only available from 5pm until 10pm - and even then it was a very very dim light and a fan. Although the windows in the room were all mosquito net, we still had two very large crickets as roommates amongst other things. We managed to both get bitten by red fire ants but avoided the mozzies pretty well. The weird thing about the lodge is that there wre absolutely no women working there - which may be the reason why 3 out of our group of 5 ended up with the runs for most of the stay! Michael and I pretty much avoided it thank goodness but it was funny to see three english people making their excuses to constantly disappear to the bathroom! The funniest moment would have been when Michael spoke to the Pèruvian cook asking him how scrambled eggs is said in Spanish and she said úm, scrambled eggs!´. Wrong lady so butt out! On the last night Michael was acting a bit strange (ok stranger than usual!) and he said he wanted to dress up for dinner. I said no way as it was 9 minutes until dinner and I was feeling sick and didn´t want to! As soon as we got to join the others for dinner he pretends he had to look at something upstairs and I knew something was going on. It turns out he´d asked the staff to make the upstairs room a romantic dining room for two to celebrate our 6 month anniversary which we´d done in Cusco but not that well. But in true Peruvian lazy style they didn´t get it ready before we came like he asked so it was pretty much ruined! We ended up having dinner with our usual crew before Michael asked me to come upstairs. I knew he was up to something but I didn´t want to be part of it so in true Aysha style I refused. But the look on his face made me do it and he had them set up a lovely table with candlelight and a bottle of red wine (which was the last thing my cold needed!) and we had a lovely romantic time with only the sounds of the birds and insects outside...