I had started taking my malaria meds, and wasn't feeling too well. Good news, according to the weberverse, I don't need to continue taking the malarone here as malaria isn't a risk in this part of the amazon.
Here's the skinny on the jungle trip, which is called "la selva" here. The jungle is at higher altitude than the jungles I visited in Central America. This means it isn't constantly hot, and it actually gets cold at night. One day included a kayak trip, in which I sat in a few inches of water, a visit to monkey island, a place where former pet monkeys are set free to hang together, and a night caiman hunt by boat. Another day we hiked through forest, then canoed through swamps to get to Lago Sandoval, which is an oxbow lake. I've never heard this term before, have you? It means that the lake was formed by the river, and eventually cut off from river. There is a family of giant river otters that live there. We followed them around the lake, watching them play with each other as they constantly crunched on fish. We also went on a night walk in the jungle, it was so dark when we all turned off our flashlights that I could not see my own hands in front of my face. Exhaustion hit me all at once when I sat down for dinner, and I crashed hard that night.
The final day in the jungle, I was up and out by 430am, to go by boat to a clay lick. A clay lick is an area of soil high in minerals that is naturally formed in the environment. It was so effing cold on the boat ride. We arrived and waited as the sun rose over the river. The parrots, macaws and parakeets arriving in flocks and pairs. At one point the guide said there were about 200 birds on the clay lick. Hundreds of beautiful green and blue wings flitted through the sky overhead, while the red tipped winged macaws noisily sat in the treetops.
After the 45 minute evening boat ride out of the jungle, I arrived back in Puerto Maldonado around 630pm. I have a bit of downtime before I'm off form my next adventure...the Galapagos! It was a hasty decision that I hemmed and hawed over, after Louise had told me about a Peruvian airfare sale. I'll be in be debt for a few months, but it's definitely worth it. Who knows when I'll get the chance again?
Hi, I'm Reverend J, a queer+ sober wanderer, activist, writer and ordained minister.