Jungle Sam and life without electricity for 2 day!
Trip Start Sep 09, 2010
46Trip End May 28, 2011
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Tuesday 12th October
My bus was not leaving Cusco until 6pm so I had the day spare to amuse myself. Whilst walking into town I noticed a sign outside Paddy´s Bar which said it was showing the Euro qualifier England v Montenegro game. I hadn´t realised it was on but it was showing at 2pm so would give me time to watch the game have a beer and get back for the bus. I`d not been to Päddy´s before I think its one of the more popular bars in Cusco, anyway I went in just as the game was starting and they were two screens showing two games at the same time, the England one and Spain v Scotland. I also bumped into Fiona who was who I´d booked my jungle trip with. She was off as well on a 6 day all expenses trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu as a ´secret customer´. As Fiona is Scottish we ended up chatting and watching most of that game with was far more exciting than the appalling England game
Leaving at 6pm local time meant I was going to miss the live coverage of the Chile miners coming up to the top. I've been following the story since arriving here. Pretty amazing not sure that I would have been able to handle being stuck down there for so long, but at least for most of the time they knew they were being rescued. Anyway I had to go to the tourist office just around the corner from the hostal for 5.15pm and then they took me down to the bus station which is at the far end of Cusco. The bus was waiting and I reasonably on time. I wasn´t exactly sure how long it was supposed to take but it was a long and bumpy road to the jungle...the coach was ok it had reclining seats but no toilets. They even gave us a meal of meat and rice and showed a DVD - a very old Steven Segal film...not really my cup of tea and was in Spanish so I tried to sleep . But we stopped quite a few times enroute dropping people off and so the lights would come back on and there were screaming children so didn´t sleep at all!
Wednesday 13th October
I arrived in Puerto Maldonado, which is described as a frontier town in my Rough Guide and is only 3 hours from Brazil at 6am
We then headed back to the office and the other tourists were arriving. Marco didn´t come with he was heading over the following day. So we were joined by around 10 or so mainly aussies who were travelling with a company called Intrepid which specialisies in adventure holidays. They had flown in from Cusco having just completed the inca trail. We had a half hour bus ride down a dirt track to the Tambopata River which was followed by an hour and a half boat journey to the Explorers Inn Lodge. On the way we saw some turtles and lots of bird. When we arrived we were taken to the restaurant and given an introductory talk. I kind of thought they wouldn´t have electricity but I did bring my appliances with me just incase. But oh no, lighting in the lodges would be by candlelight and cold showers only! I was then given the keys to my room. I had a lodge all to myself 3C and with no neighbours. The room was basic two beds, mosquito nets and a private bathroom but adequate for 2 days
Puerto Maldonado and the journey home.
Apparently up until a few years back this road was described as one of the worst in Peru! The road link has improved considerably. Not long ago it would have taken 2 or 3 days to reach Puerto Maldonado by Bus, but now it can be done in less than 24 hours, or at least during the dry season. Travelling by land during the wet season is probably not recommended. The journey is 500 km passing through rugged Andean landscape and over the peak of Ausangate.