I was surprised when I first suggested to Luci that we spend a few days in the jungle that I didn’t face any resistance…just a “great honey”. I don’t quite think she realized what we were in for. It was not until the date of departure neared, that I informed her that we needed to get a “few” shots did her level of concern begin to escalate. The shots weren’t that bad, what bothered me was the extensive detail that the nurse went into describing the different afflictions that the serums would prevent.
We caught a Taca flight from Cuzco, Peru to Puerto Maldonado, Peru. I kept looking down at the bright green carpet of the canopy. We flew for an hour straight of continuing green. Yet we were only on the fringe of the jungle. Out of the vast sea of vegetation appeared a short landing strip.
Airport isn’t quite LAX… we gathered our gear and headed out into the sea of tour company vans. We found our van in short order. We decided on Lake Sandoval Lodge based on strong reviews on Tripadvisor and it is off the beaten path aways. Puerto Maldonado is truly a frontier town. A number of sawmills, dusty streets and many shops for supplying the jungle-ites.
Van took us to the river port on the Rio de Madre de Dios a tributary of the Amazon. There were 20 some people in our group. We brought 5 different flavors of insect repellent.
There were three couples in our group: an older couple from Britain, and a young couple that had won the trip on Yahoo. (I guess someone does win those contests). Javier is in the dark jacket, and Paul in the light blue in front.
We boarded or canoe for the 1 hour trip upriver. Water is chocolate mocha brown. We arrive at the dock for our hike into the lodge. We are introduced to our guides: Paul and Javier. Both have a pretty good command of English.—As we were prattling one afternoon Javier says,” Eutrophication…you know Eutrophication?” Luci and I had a good chuckle. We were impressed with his knowledge of biologic terms.
During the day we would go on the dugout canoes and criss cross the oxbow lake looking for monkeys, giant river otters, and other critters, including a boa below:
In the evenings we took a couple of night hikes. Luci was a trooper. Night is a great time to see all of the creepy crawlies. Including scorpions, spiders and beetles.
The noises at night were awesome! The Jungle is extremely LOUD at night. During one of our night hikes, I asked our guide how long we would last in the deep without light, he stopped, thought to himself for a few seconds and said, “about two hours.” I heard him chuckle a little to himself as he continued on up the path…
Our sleeping qtrs were fine. Each bed had netting:
The sunset in the Jungle was so impressive!
The Amazonas is not to be missed! We highly recommend visiting the Sandoval Lake Lodge!
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