From the chilly and high-altitude Inca Trail, we went down to the hot and muggy Peruvian Amazon, which is on the border with Brazil and in the river basin of the Amazon River.
Before we went to our lodge, we wandered around the market in the town of Puerto Maldonado. Lots and lots of fish and meat … some more alive-looking than others.
We have arrived! After an hour-long boat ride, we hopped on shore and made our way to our little hut that we’d be staying in for the next 5 days.
This tiny little pond was so cool! It’s the remainder of a giant oxbow lake, and has been evaporating for decades since – but it was bubbling! We figured it was a hot spring or something, but it was the little clams and fish that there.
After climbing up a canopy walk, we got to the coolest treehouse ever! It was built in a giant tree overlooking the rest of the jungle, so we sat teetering there for awhile, taking it all in.
We got to go to an animal refuge center in the middle of the jungle, where they keep monkeys, jungle cats, birds, taipurs, and other animals to release them to the wild. The monkeys were insanely cute and friendly.
The howler monkeys were SO COOL. Our guide, Julio, started to make the loud grunting noises that they make to try and get them to respond. They talked back *loudly* and all of the sudden, we heard the same grunting howling noises from out in the jungle! And fairly close, up in the trees! It was another group of wild howler monkeys, responding to what they thought was a threat to their turf. The two groups of monkeys talked back and forth to each other for a little while, then the wild ones left.
This little guy just did not want to stop playing! It’s my hat, not yours!
Pat made a friend! This big tapir and his brother were very curious what we were up to.
Our guide Julio caught two caiman on a night boat outting – and I got to hold them!
The second one he caught was huge! He just jumped out into the knee-deep water and lunged onto it, that crazy dude! (No fingers or caiman were harmed.)
The view out of our room each morning at sunrise was pretty spectacular.
We cruised around on Lake Sendoval, an oxbow lake off of the river. It was quite relaxing after so much hiking recently to just lay back and take it all in – almost like the Venice of the Amazon…. kinda.
What’s a visit to the Amazon without a sunset raft float trip with a glass of wine?? Pat took a dip in the river and I lazily watched from the raft. Besides the fact that we got totally eaten up by river fleas, it was great! Ha.
I know what you’re thinking – I’m one classy broad.
These two gringos visited a local village, and learned how to make an arrow!
Varying degrees of success in actually *shooting* the arrows.
Back in the day, they used to make fabric from the bark of a certain tree, that they would beat and beat and beat until it became soft and wearable. That material isn’t woven or knit or anything – that’s exactly how it comes off the tree!