Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jungle Time!

Marco and I took a wonderful 2 day vacation to the jungle of Peru via Puerto Maldonado a week and a half ago. It was fantastic and HOT! There definitely weren't as many mosquitoes as I thought there would be and it wasn't as humid as I thought it was going to be. Score!

We took an overnight bus (MovilTour) to Puerto Maldonado and then hung out all morning in the town before taking a boat ride to the lodge. The morning was kind of boring since we got in around 7am and didn't have anything to do but sit around and wait for 12pm to come around. I have to tell you that if you ever go to Puerto Maldonando, don't stay there more than a morning. There is absolutely nothing to do. The one good thing that did keep us somewhat entertained was the salute to the flag in which all the armed forces were represented (army, navy, air force and Senasa, the municipality security made up of mostly ex-military folk). We also found a nice deli to sit in and watch in the shade. There was a parade afterward in which two bands played including a student band that played "Happy Birthday" over and over and over. Delightful.... haha how embarrassing for the military men marching.

Our boat ride was an hour and twenty minutes to the EcoAmazonia lodge. On the way we heard a family talking in a language that sounded like German and English but ended up being Afrikaans because they were from South Africa. Pretty sweet.

When we go to the lodge they served us a delicious drink from a native fruit that I forgot the name of. I wanted more. We were given lunch and our bungalow called "Tarantula". Fortunately, I saw no tarantulas in my bungalow, only on the boat ride the next day. 

In the afternoon we headed to the Monkey Island across the river and saw tons of Capuchin monkeys as well as one super friendly spider monkey female who wanted nothing more than to drink my gatorade. Seriously, she came down and got on everyone's shoulders so she could get a hold of it. Don't believe me? Check out the pic!


To be fair, the guide did warn us that she liked waterbottles. It's so cool how their tails are an extra leg or arm. She got on top of me too but not before grabbing my arm. It is so human-like, it's crazy. All the monkeys were rescued from bad owners and given this island that is owned by the EcoAmazonia Lodge. A funny thing that happened while on the island is that I ran into a friend of mine Richard, who is now a guide for Tucan Travel. He used to bartend at the Lost City, a local hangout for all the Maximo teachers while I was still teaching English. What a small world and what crazy odds!

In the evening we had a delicious buffet dinner and Marco and I passed out nice and early around 10pm. The is also when the power goes out. The lodge only uses electricity between 5 and 10pm daily so we had to make good use of the fan in the room during that time. 

The following day we took a nice look hike to a little river, steam that we then paddled down before walking more to the Apuvictor lake lookout spot. It was a lot of hiking and it was quite humid. We made the best of it though. We passed trees that are considered the be telephones because when you hit them they echo up to a kilometer away. We also passed trees that smell like onion and are apparently helpful when one has a cold. The boat ride was nice because Marco and I did absolutely no rowing. We were with Richard's Tucan group so they did all the work. Haha it was great! 

We saw a turtle and quite a few monkeys during trek as well but we were both extremely happy to get back to the lodge and the swimming pool. We did nothing but hop in and out of the pool all afternoon and it is exactly what we needed and wanted.  Before the pool though, we went to a lookout and as you can see I was ready to dunk myself in an unheated cool almost chilly pool.

Ahhhh we made it to the pool! :) 

That evening we shared a bottle of wine at the hammock deck that looked out over the river. We never got around to taking a picture of it but it was a glorious spot and it there had been fans over the hammocks it might have been the best place in the entire world to take a nap. We took one there anyway in the afternoon. 

On Tuesday morning we got up nice and early, had a delicious pancake breakfast before heading back to Puerto Maldonado for our bus ride home to Cusco. It was a glorious vacation and so relaxing. I am super thankful to my bandmate Fernando for hooking us up with a 20% discount on the lodge. Two and a half days in Puerto were perfect. We were ready to get back to the fresh and cooler/dry climate of Cusco after so much humidity. Marco sweats like crazy so I know he was happy to be back. 

Happy couple on the boat ride back to Puerto!

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