'Last call for Lara Coghlan and Edward Aitken on flight 13-26-54 destination - Jungle! Please proceed imidiatly to gate 2! Gracias.'
As the pair rushed to the gate and out to the plane (maximum capacity of aircraft 16) they were confronted with a dilema as they boarded. Their seats were as good as in the cockpit and they felt that they had to lead the safety instructions in case of emergency! (as the stewardesses obviously had a day off??). Lara pointed out the exit and demonstrated how the life vests worked, while Ed shouted out the instuctions.
Half an hour later the plane touched down in the Jungle on a runway no longer than a football field. Collecting baggage was much easier than Heathrow as you took it off the plane yourself and then jumped on a bus into town.
One night of Hell.......we checked into a sweaty hot room with a broken fan, (much worse than no fan as it stares at you all night not doing anything!) a leaky toilet, a resident cockroach, broken fly screen and extremly rude and noisy neighbors. Once we survived the ordeal of the night we ran to the tour company and met with our Jungle expert 'SIMONE' and went deep into the Jungle.
After a 1 hour long boat down the Beni river we arrived at our lodgings high in the Jungle which was wonderful but so many stairs to get there that we almost passed out! There was no time for that though as we were whisked off into the wilderness.
DAY 1 JUNGLE
After trekking through the hot dense Jungle we reached Simone's home village 'San Miguel Del Bala' where we talked to the local towns people, sampled some of their sugar cane juice and even made a hand bag out of reeds.
Later on after a spot of lunch we were taken down the river by boat to the mysterious Canyon where we were confronted by Bats, spiders, leeches and all sort of creepy crawlies! We waded through here in some wellies luckily!! Then after it was time for a swim in the Beni River to cool off before dinner and bed.
NB - Night time in the Jungle can be a bit scary as there are all sorts of noises that you wouldn't believe, including fighting bugs next to your head! Fun Fun Fun!
DAY 2 JUNGLE
2 hours down the river, further than any Coghlan or Aitken have been into the Jungle. To the new lodge where we shall stay the night. Once we arrive we go sneaking through the amazon with purple tree dye to blend into the surroundings. We track animals on foot and make calls to our primate friends. We learn how nature works and become one with the jungle!!
15.30 day 2 and we are off to catch our lunch for the next day in the river but to reach the river we have to cut through, crawl and trudge in the under growth. Fishing is unsuccessful so lunch will be bland! However we were feasted on by sandflies (glad something ate well!!!)
20.00 hours the night has been long set in and we have torches in hand to go in search of the elusive and dangerous Jaguar. We search with our lights and see the eye shine of the night dwellers around us! We find some Jaguar tracks on the beach of the river and wait to see if it will return but alas it did not! Even caimen eyes were upon us but we did not fear as 'SIMONE' was near!!!
DAY 3 JUNGLE
Final day in the Jungle and we are searching for our close relative the monkey. We find Capuchin and Spider monkeys playing in the jungle canapy in the distance and a poisonous snake lurking by the river all before lunch. This was our final hurrah and all we now had to look forward to was our 4 hour ride back to town and civilization. BUT WAIT!!! As we try and leave camp we are invaded by a stampeed of 200 wild pigs looking for blood (or maybe just food), then they left and it was all OK.
What an adventure, now we venture into the Pampas for more exitement!!!