Amazon Jungle

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
Trip End Jul 20, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Thursday, May 1, 2008

The last few days in Peru have been full of contrasts. From the high mountains of Cusco and Machu Picchu we  moved on to the Amazon lowlands of the Tambopata River. Then a last blast in Cusco. The conquering of Machu Picchu called for a celebratory dinner and night out. Dinner was good and then Manuel took the hardy few to a nightcub for salsa lessons and dancing. A top night, plenty of dancing and drinks but just a little too many drinks for Manuel our trainee tour guide who wasnt able to make the plane the next day for the Amazon. Of course it was Brendas fault, she loaned him 20sol so he could party on after the group went home.

A short flight - spiced by the murmers about Manuels disappearance - and we landed in Puerto Maldonado - an outpost town reliant on gold mining, logging (sadly), and a tourist step-off for the Amazon experience. We started our journey with a one hour, very rough, bus ride (18km) to the river. Gets interesting here.... The Tambopata was 5m in flood and we had a 2 hour boat ride upstream. One thing I can say for the Peruvians, they have no fear. Onwards we surged dodging passing trees and logs (skillfully) to arrive at our Amazon experience Jungle Lodge. I must say a taxi ride in Peru is a more harrowing experience. Bungy jump in New Zealand = taxi ride in Peru.

We spent the next two days enticing tarantulas from holes, watching monkeys swing in the trees, learning about the fauna and flora and spotlighting caimen (small crocs) on the river bank. Not quite the jungle experience we expected but enought creepy crawlies to strike fear in a pom, let alone an aussie! The lodge had no electricity, candles instead, but thankfully they had a new solar hot water setup.   And cozy mosquito nets to sleep within.

And sadly to our last night in Peru!  Lots of nearly tears after a yummy seafood dinner and funny ice-creams in a strange Helado shop (Madhukar - I`m talking about your little Pollito!)  Julio - donŽt leave us - we luv you!  And say hi to your mum for me! Manuel - be good!
Very sad to leave Peru now for Rio.  We loved the people, the smiles, the colour, the beautiful Espagnol language and weŽll miss our group a lot.  Maybe one day, weŽll be back - who knows?
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