Amazon Jungle

Trip Start Feb 23, 2008
Trip End Apr 28, 2008

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Flag of Peru  ,
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

It was another early morning start with wake up call at 4:40am. We flew to Puerto Maldonado and visited a local market before heading off to Ecoamazonia Lodge which is located at Tambopata Reserve, 30km downstream of Madre de Dios River.

The first impresion of the lodge was excellent. I could easily stay for a week just to chill out. There was ample of birds and animals near by. However, on close analysis much of the animal and birds there were domesticated. The Green Winged Macaws stay in the same tree day after day, the Blue and Yellow Macaws has their own tree around the dinning room. A green parot that can say Hola! There was a Tapir that roams around the lodge an visited the bar on afternoon. There is a Monkey Island near by with 35 monkeys and 5 species. The monkeys are very well trained to guide´s voice. We saw  a few Black Spider Monkeys and a baby, a Capuchin Monkey and a Tamarin Monkey. Despite the staged nature of the Monkey Island Tour, it was good to see them in their nature environment. God knows how the monkeys got there in the first place? Perhaps with a tranquilizer dart?

We had a night cruise looking for Caimans. Spotted 3 from a distance and it was rather a disappointing experience.

The next day we woke up at 5:30 for an early start to the Lost Lagoon. More jungle trekking in the mud. We were shown some jungle plants and saw some Fire Ants and Army Ants some of the lessor known dangerous animal in the jungle. Then we saw some massive Tarantulas one species that lives on trees and another live in barrows. Our local guide then start telling us story of some Tarantula and toad having some symbiotic relationship. We all thought it was a lie but I managed to googled it!

We did see some wild monkeys. A group of Red Howling Monkeys at the top of some trees some far away only visible with a big telephoto lens. There were lots of birds including a Heron, falcons, vultures, kingfishers. In the lagoon, we saw many turtles, another caiman and an anaconda! It was difficult to judge how big the anaconda was since I only got to see part of its body. Our guide estimated it to be a small one between 3-4 metres long.
We ended the tour by climbing an watch tower which was a tree with stairs build around it to reach the plaform at the top. The whole structure is a little doggy.

Ecoamazonia Lodge does provide the tourist a good experience in the Amazon but the authenticity of Monkey Island is questionable. I think for 99% of the tourists, they rather be sure they saw the animal then trek whole day in mud just may be to get a glimpse of the monkeys. I would not have taken some of the most amazing monkey photos otherwise.

Sadly my stay in the Amazon was not long enough and part of the tour come to an end. Only 4 of the original 11 Intrepid memebers will continue with Galapagos Islands and the rest are returning home.
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