Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Meet Omero (Homer in english). He came to greet us as we settled into our thatched roofed houses in the jungle. There were a few birds that had been rescued around the Eco Lodge and these birds were the highlight of the jungle for my kids. I think they would have brought this one home if there was anyway to get it through immigration.
This bird was a little crazy. It would laugh hysterically when Micah pretended to fall off of the hammock. In the early morning, you would hear him screaming like a woman being murdered in the woods.
He even wanted to come onto our boat tour one day with Josiah. As soon as the boat took off, he flew back to safety.
Anyone who knows Josiah, can see that he is in his glory here. He did not want to leave the jungle.
To get to our lodge, we had to fly from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado. We saw monkeys everyday. We saw macaws. And many creepy crawlies. Abby liked to make fun of me because I would spray around my bed with bug spray and slide under my mosquito net each night. This was of course, right after she made me tuck her mosquito net tightly around her first.
Everyday, we would go by canoe and hike. Usually, about 4KM. Into the jungle. Once to a pretty lake, filled with apparently, very nice piranha's that would NEVER bite you unless you happen to be bleeding. There were likely some anaconda's in there too, I wish we would have seen one! The only snakes we saw were tree snakes.
We ate a lot of fresh fruit and the kids were able to pick bananas off of the bunches around us. So amazing.
We never saw any other animals -- we wanted to see a jaguar -- but only saw footprints. I think that was on the Malaria Trail, or maybe it was the Yellow Fever Trail...
We visited a local farm. All of the food that we ate at the lodge was locally grown.
This lodge was much better than I expected. It takes me a bit of time to adjust when I am out of my comfort zone and the first night I slept very restlessly. The jungle is very loud. It is like the NYC of bugs. The second night was much better. The third night I woke up to the sound of a rat outside my house (remember this is kind of a hut with screen walls and a thatched roof) squealing and fighting in the grass below my bed. This was of course, after I had seen a rat run along the roof inside the dining hall during supper.
We had another amazing guide at the Eco Lodge (along with Jose, who was always with us -- we always knew where he was, because he would be singing). Leao took us on all of our jungle tours. The first night was a walk in the jungle in the dark with flashlights. Creepy. Especially, when we all turned out the lights to see how dark it was. He could spot monkeys, bugs, footprints, etc. even when they were so far away, we couldn't find them when he told us where to look. We also did a night river tour to find animals along the banks and he would find cayman, catabarras and even a sloth way up in a tree, in the dark.
The kids loved to swim in the creek.
The Tambopata Lodge took a one hour bus ride and then a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to get to. It only had power from 5 - 10 pm. It was beautiful.
After three days, we headed back to the city of Puerto Maldonado. We ended up staying the in the airport all day, waiting to fly back to Lima, but our plane never came due to high winds in Cuzco. We were taken to a "5 star" hotel. It was maybe 1 star, only because it had Wifi. I have never stayed anywhere so nasty. It was very dirty and the bathroom hadn't been cleaned. There were no pillowcases on the looney toon, rock hard pillows. We were scared to sleep on the sheets. It was smoking hot and we were trying not to melt. The bathroom had a glass door you could see through. Abby would move on her bed and the sheets would pop off. When we turned out the lights, the hallway light reflected through the louvers above our door, onto a mirror, and back into a perfect round spotlight on Abby's face. It was so bad that we laughed more that night then any other. Aaaahhhh... the memories...