We have just returned from our 3day trip into the jungle. We flew to Iquitos and caught a bus to Nauta before heading off into the jungle by boat! We arrived at our camp, it was very basic but really lovely, had a delicious lunch and then paddled off upstream to look for wildlife. Within 15 minutes we had seen lots of different birds (too many to remember all the names) and some monkeys!!! We were both overly excited about seeing the monkeys, even though they weren´t very obvious and our excitement grew as only a few minutes later we saw a different species of monkey and much much clearer! I was also lucky enough to see a glimpse of a pink dolphin which are rare anyway and they are moving away from the area we were in as the waters are rising.
After dinner we were taken on our night walk of th jungle. We were both quite scared especially because as soon as you´re away from the kerosene lights of the camp you are surrounded by complete darkness. We were mainly looking for big spiders and tarantulas (mum you would have HATED it) which we saw but high on a tree. As we were heading back to camp our guide literally stumbled over a 2metre long boa constrictor! A chase ensued until he managed to trap it with a stick and we could touch it. He said we were really lucky as in his 5 years as a guide that was only the 3rd time he´d seen one as big! Again with a lack of elecricity and the early start it was bed by 8.30!
The next morning we had our day time walk in the jungle. Mostly this walk was to learn about plants, for example the one vine that you can drink from and how to identify it. We found a tree to cure diarrhoea, one to treat wounds, a natural mozzie repellent which involved putting your hands in a termite nest and then crushing them. A tree which produces a natural moisturiser, the tree which seemed to have the most cut out of it by people was the viagra tree! Rhys had a swing on some vines and I got attacked by ants after our guide beat the top of an ants nest with his machete and then stood and talked to us on top of it!!
After lunch we took a boat to the nearest village to pick up the little boy who lives at the camp from school. We had a drink in the local club which was owned by a 50year old woman, had pictures of completely naked ladies all over it and only got electricity on mondays, wednesdays and saturdays! She only spoke Spanish so it was a little hard to chat but we managed and she told us how when the water levels rise upto the village the children are sometimes carried away by anacondas and have trouble with poisonous snakes and sting rays. Scary stuff! Before we left everybody in the village came out to play, grownups and kids alike and as it had just rained it all got very muddy, but it was lovely to see. I was even invited to play volleyball with some local girls. They beat me squarely! Our luck held out for a beatutiful sunset which we saw from the boat before heading abck to camp.
It was a quick change and then we headed out in the canoe in the dark to go hunting for Caimen! It was terrifying paddling through complete and utter darkness with only our head torches and our guides´sense of direction not to get us lost in the wilderness forever!It took a while but eventually we saw the red glow of the eyes and after a little scuffle we did actually catch 2 caimen, one a baby and one a little bigger. It was bizarre, and Rhys got very very overexcited!!!
The next morning we were off piranha fishing, and the 5year old boy,Rommie, who lived at the camp came with us paddling his own canoe! Rhys and I both forgot how insanely boring fishing is until you catch something! First I caught a tiny catfish (we´d been told we were actually out of season for piranhas and not to expect to get any) and then I caught a piranha!!!It was very exciting and although they´re small they do look vicious! (Rhys was a bit jealous that he didn´t get one!) Our guide gutted then there and then and we were to have them with our lunch! We then got hopelessly lost as we headed back to camp and it ended up with Rommie-and nearly me- in tears because ants were beginning to infest the boats and we weren´t really sure if we were ever going to get back out. Rhys gallantly agreed to take over Rommie´s single man canoe so he could sit in the big boat. It was hilarious. There was a distinct lack of control and by the time he emerged from the shrubbery there were a few scratches and he´d practically sweated out his own body weight. At this sight Rommie cheered up and decided he could manage again!We headed back to camp for the last time and had out last lunch including the days catch which had about 2mouthfulls of meat on them but it tasted good because we´d caught them! We then headed back to Iquitos and didn´t get rained on once in our entire trip!
Back to Lima before heading straight up to the North coast for some sun, sea and surf!
Lots of love to all xx