"Reception and transfer to the Tambopata river port in Puerto Maldonado. After a brief survey of the town we will depart on the 2 hour boat trip by motorized canoe to Posada Amazonas. Depending on the arrival time you will have a boxed lunch aboard the boats or have lunch upon arrival at Posada Amazonas Lodge. During the voyage you may see bird species typical of the river or forest edge."
And so starts our Amazon adventure! The bus ride was quite different as can be seen in the top photo in that at each bridge, all passengers had to disembark and walk over followed by the bus. The reason? There was a definite worry that the combined weight of the bus AND passengers would overload the bridge (and we'd all fall in the water and get eaten by Piranha!). Ah well, this did not occur and we safely embarked on the river in the special Amazon boats. We were fortunate that we weren't there during the rainy season and temperatures were hot 35 C +, but tolerable.
The lunch I'm eating in the photo below was not 'boxed'. It was wrapped in a banana leaf (felt like plastic) that kept in the heat of this very tasty chicken and rice meal.
"After unpack and unwind you will receive a short orientation and a complete briefing of the lodge and the Ese'eja Ecotourism Project. In the afternoon you will have an Ethnobotanic hike around the lodge with an Ese´eja native. You will visit a small parakeet clay lick where dozens of Blue Headed Parrots dance around the bank as each individual parrot competes for a piece of clay. A video about the forest of Tambopata will be displayed after dinner."
The room layout at the lodge was truly different: raised off the ground on short stilts, and open to the forest.
Above Judy tests the bed in our room. Mosquito nets were lowered over and around the beds at night, though we didn't have a problem with mosquitos as we are from Manitoba where the provincial bird is the mosquito! The howler monkeys however insisted on serenading us at 4:00 AM - we couldn't shut the windows as there were no windows!
At right is our shower and below, the bathroom with its exclusive lighting (2 candles).
At right are the doorways into the 'suites'. These rooms were surprisingly comfortable especially after a long day of adventure.
Wooden figures adorned many of the entrances complete with a history concerning the artist and the subject.
Here is a photo of one of our early morning serenaders, a howler monkey just outside our room.
At left, Judy peers through an observation port at the salt lick hoping to see flocks of exotic birds. Unfortunately the only exotic birds this day were part of the tourist group!
We were advised that there was a plethora of them the next day ... of course!
"You will be up at dawn for a visit to the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake After an early breakfast we depart, fifteen minutes from Posada Amazonas by boat and a 30 minute walk will take you to go to the lake shore. From here you will take a long, easy canoe ride around it looking for giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin, and wading birds. Then you will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit a Shaman and native medicinal farm. You will return to Posada Amazonas for dinner and overnight, and you will have as an optional activity a night walk to look for amphibians and insects."
Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake was a gem in the wilderness. We were fortunate in that we did see all the animals and birds including the giant otters (from a distance).
I tried my hand at fishing, but in the short time I had I didn't even get a nibble - much like my success (or lack of same) in Canada! The guide however had better luck and is pictured holding his catch - a little Piranha.
At left we are in the dining room anticipating another scrumptious meal. Seated with us are two young men from Miami. They were fun to be with and added another happy dimension to our adventures.
At right our wonderful first-time guide fills his dish at the buffet table. He was from the locale, and did an excellent job of patiently describing everything concerning the flora and fauna.
Considering our location, it was really a surprise to have meals of such quality.
This is an evening shot of the main dining room. The chandeliers are made from the forked branches of trees!
As can be seen, Judy and I are enjoying yet another great meal.
This was the bar area and I'm smooching with a wooden Capybara. The Capybara, also known as Carpincho, is the world's largest living rodent. They reportedly wandered in large numbers around the lodge though I never saw one other than this wooden replica.
A tree frog (cute!).
A Tarantula spider (Scary!)
As we hiked through the forest in the dark back to the lodge, our guide stopped, picked up a stick, then started poking into a crevice on an adjacent tree. Suddenly, out popped this spider. I was particularly wary of this one as the guide probably agitated it over and over again for the pleasure of the various groups of tourists!
Judy is standing beside a "Walking Tree", so named because it has the capability to move horizontally to better view the sun. It basically has no central root, but rather a 'broom' of roots which allow it to very slowly (decades) shift its position.
We hiked to this tower and climbed it (30 meters-phew!), to get a splendid view of the rainforest canopy.
The view was breathtaking, where possible after the climb!!!
A test. What is the shell being held on the right???
Answer: A Brazil nut! Yep, all the ones we see in the stores are at one time contained in the larger shell. This particular one was gnawed open as can be seen from all the teeth marks around the hole.
This is a picture of a Shaman that we visited on his government sponsored native medicinal farm. Finally scientists are accepting some of the medicines that they previously spurned due to the ceremonies and mythology associated with Shamans. We had an extensive tour including sampling some of the native medicines. In particular, I was given a small branch something like a grape vine less grapes, and told to chew it but not swallow. In seconds my teeth and gums were totally numb. A perfect solution to tooth ache!
Between Judy and me is our guide, and to our left, the "boys".
Now back to Lima, and the return flight home after the experience of a life time.
To return to our Peruvian page index, just click on the young girl on the right.