Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Jungle - Part 2

Day 3: We didn´t have to get up too early, which was nice. We took the boat an hour down the river, really in the rainforest. We went to some ¨Project¨that starts with a T. It is some sort of environmental program to save the and educate about the rainforest. There are trails there & we walked, again, seeing lots of animals and birds. We got out to this thing called a ¨Canopy Walk,¨which is a crazy bridge 42 meter high & 90 meters long. It has 6 inch wide metal for you to walk on, a metal wire for a railing, and netting between the 2 to help you not fall. It swings a little & is pretty nerve-racking as it starts to incline up into a huge tree. But when you get up there, you are in the canopy of the forest & can look around. It´s pretty cool!

The bugs were surprisingly not bad while I was in the jungle. I wore long clothes and bug spray, just to be sure. When I was in the canopy, there were these wierd bees that look & act like black flies in the worst season in NH. You can´t kill them, because that´s when they will sting. They were really annoying! But at least that was it :)

We ate a delicious lunch there, then took our afternoon break. Then we went to an animal rehabilitation center very close to there. Now, we are 1 hour 40 minutes from any town, and what do I see & hear when we get there? The World Cup soccer game on a big screen TV!!! I can´t get away from it anywhere here! Not only that, but their cell phones work everywhere here in the jungle! Not quite what I expected.

Anyway, at the rehab place, we saw all kind of monkeys, some different cats including a jaguar, lots of birds, and otter, and some big animal that I don´t know what it was. It was neat seeing these animals up close. We fed the monkies, too.

Day 4: We visited a local family. It was kind of strange because they do this for tourists. But it was neat to see. We did some song & dance that I don´t understand. They painted our faces with a local plant that grows there. We also got to play with this spinning top toy that I think was made of a stick & a nut & string. It was kind of neat.

We also shot a bow & arrow at some fake birds in a tree. I got it! I was the first & it was my first try! Only one other shot got it the entire time! No, I don´t have much experience with a bow & arrow & certainly not in recent times!

In the afternoon, we went fishing! We got dropped off on the shore by the boat & fished for 30-45 minutes there. My guide was funny. He had us keeping the line at one distance & just throwing it out into the water. This didn´t seem right to me. We got picked up & fished further downriver from the boat. The driver showed my guide how to use the fishing rod so you can cast it out :) It was more fun fishing that way. All I caught was some sticks. Oh well. The woman in my group caught a fish, but got away as she was lifting it out of the water.

Day 5: We got up at 4 AM to go to Parrot´s Clay Lick. We went downriver with the full moon shining, which was beautiful. The sunrise was beautiful, too. We got to this sand bar of sorts, about 100 meters from the clay lick & waited. The parrots, parakeets, and macaws came, little by little & got into the trees. After awhile, they started to go onto the clay. I guess they go there to eat to help their stomachs. I think their stomach gets upset from eating too much unripe fruit. It was cool to see hundreds of the colorful birds all in one place! Most of them had green bodies & blue heads. But I also saw some red & yellow mixed in.

I spent the rest of day in Puerto Maldonado. I met a woman who speaks English & Spanish, so she helped me the rest of the day. My watch battery needed changing, so we went to the market to get a new one. She was so helpful! Unfortunately, the watch is done for, so now I have to buy a new one. We ate meals together, too.

I am in Cuzco again today, but I get on an overnight bus to Arequipa tonight. I will be there super-early tomorrow morning.

The jungle was wonderful! It was nice to be in the same place for so long, and to understand what was going on around me. It was nice to be outdoors, and also to not worry about being asked to buy something, have to worry about my stuff being stolen, or worrying if I´ve been ripped off. The food was excellent, too. I drank all kinds of delicious juices, too.

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