We landed in Iquitos on Dec 20th. Iquitos is called "Peru's Gateway to the Amazon". The Amazon basin begins there and connects to a plethora of other rivers. The basin so large it holds boats the size of tankers. We started our journey there, cutting through a small market on the shore to get to the "marina" towards our Jungle Lodge - Fresh foods cooking and venders selling last minute items for the journey. We took a long boat down one of the Amazon's offshoots - the Moman River. About 45 min to an hour by motorboat down river we hit our lodge. (The Amazon Rainforest Lodge). DAY 1, we had to share the place, but after that we had it all to our selves. Just when you thought you had seen it all......We walked by torch light to our hut...and saw a monkey swinging in front of one of the windows..
. thought we were seeing things. This was just the start. The lodge has 3 resident macaws, 3 parrots, 4 monkeys (monkeys 1, 2, 3 and Michael Jackson), and one very large tarantula that resides in the rafters of the dining lodge. FREEEEAKY!! We also had a huge rat-squirrel in our room (now we know what Bucket feels like every night before he goes to bed. A 6" long varmint running across the room and scratching in the corner to get out...then back in). Definitely part rat - part squirrel. We woke up day 2 to what sounded like a propeller plane....but was just a GIANT bug. We took a "QUICK" 7 hour hike through the rainforest...in rubber boots, with a machete and local guide with rifle (FloydLoyd style). Had no idea what we were in for. We ate things...many things...and saw wild birds, frogs, spiders, butterflies, lizards and even monkeys. No big things; although we heard one phrase more often than we cared to..."Very dangerous, poison"...about bugs, plants,trees. One guy in our group fell into a huge snake hole up to his waist...even freaked the guide out. Learned something new..if you fall into a hole...and flies come out...guess that's a snake hole. Huh-Don't see that every day. Amazing what you'll go through to find a Blood Orchid to bring home to Geoff. (By the way, "Anaconda" was filmed just down river from our lodge Geoff). After day 2 we had the place to ourselves. The guide decided to give us the "Locals" tour. Visited some buddies down the river, ran some errands you know...buy some hooch. He took us to a sugarcane rum moonshine plant (if you can call it a plant at all) which was the shadiest place we've ever been. Got to try a little taster too. Thought we'd need a tetanus shots after. Un-believable that whole process. Guy looked like a Peruvian Frankenstein or Sloth from the Goonies. Ruth, Ruth, Baby - Ruth? Next, fishing for Piranha for dinner. Nice quiet trip down the river..Don't think so. After a rusty, gutty worm filled hook through Marisha's toe, the guide thought it better to visit some buddies in a neighboring village to make use of their private lagoon. Some call it a pool, shower, laundry...some call it a lagoon. No piranhas, but some yummy fish after all. Dinner is served. There are several stories we left out, but will explain when you see the pictures. Enjoy. We did. We're still laughing about the whole experience!
Ok, so the "Virgin Jungle" (or Yungle) trek was closed down due to current whirlpools sucking in small boats - and puddle jumper planes only leaving bi-weekly. Hmmmmm, a little "Jewel of the Nile" for our wee 3 week trip.