Nat and Beck Go Large!
We flew into Puerto Maldonado and were met by the Eco bus...a nifty contraption that was supposed to be a moving vehicle, but was slightly more of a death trap on wheels. We were taken to the port and piled into a canoe to take us upriver to the lodge. We were in two bed bungalows on stilts, with a seperate area for chilling out in hammocks...cozy! After lunch (which was served in a leaf), we piled into the canoe to go across to Monkey Island, which everyone, especially Sarah and Becky, was very excited about. Our guide Elmer brought some bananas to feed the monkeys (bananas don't grow on Monkey Island, so it's a treat for them), and we were soon surrounded by the furry little creatures, including a mummy and her baby. Nat also made a new friend who stayed on her shoulder for a while. That night after dinner, we went out on the river to spot caiman. Didn't see that many though. We drifted back along the river listening to the sounds of the jungle...nearly put us all to sleep! We arrived back at our cabin to find a party going on...the cockroaches were having a fine time. Enter Wilson, who came to our room armed with bug spray to kill the party. We re-entered the fume laden room 10 minutes later to find that one critter had managed to survive...then the eco friendly resort turned out the lights! Cue major panic as the bug flew round the room, and us two big massive girls had a major panic attack. We eventually by aid of torch light managed to get the critter on his back, but by gosh he was a fighter and almost got himself back on his feet...til we dropped Becky's shoe on him to trap the w*** and he was no more. (The shoes were, of course, left behind when we departed). The next day, we rose early (6am) and went on the short trek through the jungle. Managed to see not a lot of wildlife (Tucan lie!), but saw many trees, there was many attempts at Tarzan and Jane impressions, Elmer took the bravest of the party out on a boat that would rival the Titanic sinking (Nat opted out of this) and Sarah got a new outfit made from palm leaves. We cooled off in the freezing cold pool before lunch, then went out fishing for piranhas in the afternoon. managed to catch nothing, but saw many caiman, more than the night before in fact! We also visited a local family and their pet boa constrictor who live in the jungle rent-free. Personally I think they should be paid to live there with the amount of tarantulas and roaches they have to deal with. We managed to stay up til a very respectable 9.30pm before retiring to bed, thank heavens cockroach free! Jean had given us a mozzie coil to light in our room just in case, but the matches were made of plastic and kept bending when we tried to light them, so we made do without, and were only greeted by one dead roach on the floor in the morning. We sailed upriver to catch our flight (very bumpy is was), and said goodbye to most of our group as they got off in Cuzco to continue with a longer tour. We also said goodbye to our fave super trekkers Sue and Laurie, who were trying to change their flight to fly back to England a couple of days early...hope their kids have kept the house in order!! Matt and Angie also managed to change their onward flight to America, so it just left me, Becks and Sarah from our original group to continue on alone.