Firstly, ignore the attached picture, its not where we are or related to what you are about to read about but it is a nice picture nevertheless. We have about 500 relevant piccies to download but the interweb cafe computers are mighty slow so we will get the best ones on the site asap.
We are currently in the Peruvian capital, Lima but we have had numerous adventures since our last update in Cusco, the first of which was our visit to the Amazon jungle.
We flew from Cusco to Puerto Maldanado which is a small town in the middle of the jungle. We were met by our guide Johnny who first took us to a market in the town to see various exotic fruits and veggies and to try brazil nuts, although they called them peru nuts.
Then we boarded our motorized canoe for our three hour journey up the River Tambopata to the Cayman Lodge. Along the way we saw three scarlet Macaws sitting in a tree along with various cows who seemed to be stranded on the river bank. (Just to clarify the cows were not on the tree with the Macaws) We stopped off to sign in to the national park and got our passports stamped. While waiting we were attacked by sandflies which have a nasty bite and we also saw some bizarre hanging nests which belong to Oreal birds (this may have been a mix up in translation but the chances are that you dont know the difference so for now we´ll say thats what they were)
We arrived in the late afternoon and were greeted by the owner of the lodge, a French lady called Annie who was great fun. As luck would have it it turned out that it was her birthday and we were to be treated to rum punch with our dinner.
Before dinner we set off on a night walk to check out all the beasties and hopefully scare ourselves silly by seeing some snakes. We all arrived wearing practically all our clothes to prevent any unwelcome contact or attacks by creepy crawlies and had smothered ourselves in about a gallon of anti bug liquid too. Johnny thought it was hilarious that the gringos were tucking their trousers into their socks. We didnt see any snakes but we were attacked by army ants who bit Johnny´s feet, after which we had to hop along the trail for a while to make sure there were none on our boots. We also saw some tree frogs, large spiders and loads of crazy fireflies. We heard more noises coming from animals that sounded a lot more lethal than those listed above but were probably scared off by the 6 walking wardrobes and the smell of DEET emenating therefrom.
Somehow we survived the walk and got back to the lodge to join Annie and the other guests for her birthday dinner. The dinner was amazing, very impressive considering we were miles from civilisation. We also met Ian a two month old spider monkey who wore a nappy with a hole for his tail. He was very friendly and liked to fall asleep on the girls boobs.
The next morning Vicki was very excited after a blue butterfly landed on her bum while in the shower. Andy was jealous.
Armed with more DEET we set off on another trek through the jungle to see more beasties.This time we saw some proper tarantulas and a zillion ants all carrying leaves to make nests. We also saw some very large Capoc trees and a walking tree that has roots about a metre above ground level that move around for the first couple of years of its growth to get a good position.
We eventually got to a lake where we embarked on a non motorised canoe journey to see if we could find any Caymans (small crocodiles to you and me) We were very lucky and found one not far from the boat only a few metres away. It was about 3 metres long and did not seem interested in eating us, which was just as well because seconds after finding him we became lodged on a log in the lake and had a precarious few minutes trying to free ourselves. (Caymans dont eat people very often, however we did not want to test this theory)
After all that excitement we had a relaxing afternoon swinging in hammocks and then got back onto the motorized canoe on the river to do some night Cayman spotting. We saw 8 white caymans while the night sky was lit up by a distant lightning storm. All in all a pretty spectacular evening. We then had dinner and drinks and played with Ian the monkey.
The next morning we said our goodbyes to everyone and made our way back to Cuzco via plane boat and bus. We were sad to leave so soon as it was such an amazing experience.
Next stop the Inca Trail and lots of inca archaeology. to be continued...