Sunday, December 7, 2008

The march in the jungle....

The boat arrived on the opposite side of the river at a dock with a long steep staircase that led to the top of the bank. I was very glad I wasn't the one carrying the huge sack that contained all our little duffle bags!! Once at the top we started our hour long march through the jungle. We stopped at the park station where we wrote our names and passport numbers to register our arrival and departure dates. Then on through the steamy green canopy... There were so many things to see!! Hundreds of butterflies would be swarming around mud puddles to get the minerals left by the drying earth. The most fantastic butterfly was the giant electric blue one--they were gorgeous!!--I will have to see if Tami got a picture of one of them--my camera was too slow to snap it before they flew away. When they landed, they would close up their wings and just look like a black leaf. At one point--there was a bridge we crossed (picture above) but mostly the trail was muddy dirt and a lot of uneven ground. The "rickshaw" passed us at one point--it was just a metal board between two large wheels with metal poles sticking out for handles--this is how they transfer "goods" to the lodge from the mainland.

On our way to the AMAZON!!

After a wonderful farewell dinner in Cusco with most of our tour group, we woke early and headed to the airport to embark for Puerto Maldanado. We arrived with the captain announcing that it was 99 degrees outside with a relative humidity of 96 per

cent! We felt the steamy air the minute we disembarked the plane!! Our group, which now consisted of Phil, Denise, a couple from the tour (Glenn and Deanna) and our family-Duane, me, Tami and Alora--gathered our luggage and got on a small bus. We were driven to the tour company's office where we were given small green duffle bags to re-pack from our large suitcases three days worth of belongings into the small bags. The tour group tagged and locked up our suitcases for our return. We then got back on the bus, and were taken to the bank of the Amazon River. We went down to the dock where the boat--(pictured above) awaited our arrival. We ferried down the river, which is very muddy and dirty for about 25 minutes. They served us lunch that was a wonderful mix of rice, vegetables and soy meat wrapped in a leaf and steamed!! It was REALLY yummy!!