|Amazon - amazonica
We flew from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado...which scenery speaking is radically different from Cusco. The mountains end abruptly and give way to utterly flat lands entirely covered in rainforest. We descended a long way and flew over this forest for sometime, just wondered if the pilot was trying to find the airport, which when he did turned out to be something out of an African Mission air strip...goodness knows how we got into there it was so short.
From the airport in Puerto Maldonado we were taken a short way by bus to a reception center and then to the port. There we boarded a motorized dugout canoe and sped down the Madre de Dios river to the Amazonica Lodge.
The lodges are fantastic, even the basic ones, but we had upgraded to a suite which meant even more luxary. The lodges are built on stilts to reduce the risk of ants and spiders visiting your rooms. Each room is fully meshed so that the mossies can't get in plus you have a mossy net over the bed.
Typical Marcel, within half hour of arriving at the lodge, he upset some local bees took 3 very excruciatingly painful stings to the head.
Later in the evening a group of us went Cayman watching and saw quite a few lurking on the banks or just under the surface of the river.
The next day we went on an afternoon trip to the nearby Lake to try to spot otters. We didn't see them but we did see Howler monkeys, vulture, leaf cutter ants, toucans, herons and other birds.
The following morning we did a tour of the canopy to spot the local wildlife, this was most birds but we did spot a couple of bull ants that are said to make grown men cry in pain.
In the evening we did a very spooky night tour of the rainforest. We set out from the lodges with torches into the forest and were encouraged to find the creatures. Marcel was more freaked out by this than Fi. Well when a spider was spotted the guide encourages us all to get really close, a foot or so. Someone then asks which spider it is...oh say the guide its a 'jumping' spider... Mmm
On the river tour we had met Molly, Chris & kids from Jackson Hole, Wyoming & they very kindly gave us a bottle of wine. Guys, it was yummy. Thank You.
Fi also spotted a wolf spider, one of the most deadly. We also saw cockroaches, mantis, bugs, other spiders like tarantulas, fireflies and ants.
All in all a good trip to the Amazon...maybe not quite what expected but still good fun...