Day 4: Birding, Fishing, Hiking, and Daring each other to eat things we found in the Amazon Rainforest
We met at 4am and went down to the dock for a birding expedition. The morning was misty and cool and the river was eerie.
We left behind the lights of the lodge and saw the long drooping nests of Oropendola birds and heard their beautiful calls, which sound something like electronic water droplets. I couldn’t get good audio on my camera, but I found a video on youtube, on which the bird calls are pretty close to the kind we heard. We saw a sloth high in a tree (photo courtesy of Myron’s zoom lens). No matter how long we watched, it never went very far.
Michael shot this photo of a cute (in a bedraggled sort of way), little love-dog who lives near the lodge. His name is Soco Troco, which someone told us means Underbite. He sat snuggled up to my knee while folks booted up for today’s jungle hike. I loved the friendly little dogs of Peru!
After a leisurely boat ride, we came to our hiking destination, where we all hopped off the boat:
And were greeted by another (arguably) ADORABLE dog, a Peruvian hairless that I wanted to keep! My friends will recognize me in this photo, even though they can’t see my face, because I can always be found talking into dogs’ faces exactly like this.
This area of the jungle was hilly, with some different vegetation from what we saw yesterday.
And frogs disguised as leaves.
Michael dared me to hold a spider carcass (which I didn’t), so I dared him to eat it (which he didn’t, because he’s a chicken).
Our guide cut a vine for us to drink the clear liquid inside. Most of us were brave enough for that. It tasted like coconut water and was very refreshing! We came across a huge rope swing, and took turns getting pushed out over the hillside and giggling like children.
After the hike, we went piranha fishing, which, like all fishing everywhere, turned into this:
In the afternoon, we took another muddy hike, closer to the lodge, to visit a healer who distills medicines from local plants. Here our guide Nixon shows us a few species. We sampled an aphrodisiac liquor, and Scott tried to steal the whole bottle, but the medicine man was too savvy.
Michael got a picture of the local boys playing soccer.
At dusk, the lodge owner turned on the waterslide, and we had dangerous fun. Like going down backwards, upside down, and as a train, even after the sun went down. This was some of the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time.
We were tired tonight, but nobody quite wanted to go to bed after dinner, so we spent our last night in Peru playing Sapo, a national pastime!
Day 5: Seeing the Mighty Amazon River (and a pink dolphin!)
After breakfast we turned in our boots:
And embarked upon our boat ride out of La Selva. During our time in Iquitos and deeper in the rainforest, we saw so much boat traffic on the river (some carrying barrels, produce, and families; taxis; little kids; and even boats that seemed impossibly small).
We motored out to the point where Rio Momon joins the Huge Amazon (you can see the color difference here). We were thrilled to spot a pink river dolphin (which are rare in this area of heavy boat traffic), but I didn’t manage to get a picture.
What an amazing trip. HE Travel is putting together a tour through the Amazon Rainforest and will invite you next time we go!! Here’s a picture of our fun and funny group, on the beach at the zoo near Iquitos. Thanks for a wonderful trip everyone!
Back (L-R): Scott (HE Travel’s Director of Client Services), Myron, Sara (author), Carlos, Michael, and Eldon. Seated: Estela, Kuniko, Betty, and Sara. In front: Jovana, Claudio, and Fiorella
A note for those bringing back a blowgun from Peru…Put it in Michael’s checked bag. Make him explain it to the Customs Agent. He’ll need a good excuse as to why a single guy is carrying a wooden weapon, carefully wrapped in a white sundress.
HE Travel Media Assistant