Do you have a cup of tea? This is a long one!!!
So we’re off to the amazon! We’re on the night bus, very Harry potter like! It’s a 10 min walk to bus station if we remember the way, 2 white girls with back packs!!???
Posh Essex girl remembers well and gets us there in time. How British. But can’t see our guide. Not sure what I expected at a bus station but it’s very busy, no idea where our rep would be he just said see you there! I’m happy to sit and wait, Peruvian time is its own entity, but posh Essex girl starts panicking, so I try using Peruvian mobile but some random Spanish message. No bloody use!! Try pay phone and yes he answers. Phew. Get tickets from him and on bus. Looks comfy, spacious ‘bed’ seats all excited. Safety speech in Spanish, understand about 1% of it so let’s hope we survive. Safety speech on a bus, do we get that on long haul British buses???
Movie in Spanish but it’s ‘Taken’ so watch it as know storyline and can learn some Spanish! Free food too. Better than Ryan air this bus! Just a snack but still!
Start to feel ill?? Not good so lie down in ‘bed chair’. Not comfy and so bloody hot. 1am before I think I sleep so no more than 4 hours as kept waking! Had money belt on so felt safe as random people got off in night without me seeing so could rob you! Not sure the ‘bed seat’ is any less of more comfy than a normal seat for the extra cash??
Arrive at 6am to another bus depot. No idea who’s meeting us?? After 10 mins posh Essex girl panicking again but random man calls my name so off we go in a tuktuk! Yay. So much fun!
Get to lodge called tarantula?? Feel awful from lack of sleep and illness. Not great. Think I’m going to be sick but it passes. Breakfast is bread, jam, banana and tea. Not bad. Seems to help me feel better.
Then meet our guide for the day, lucio. Another tuktuk but I love them. They have their own lanes for bikes etc! Realise that the local taxis here are motorbikes or tuktuk. If you see a yellow jacketed biker he’s a taxi!! Love it. Saw 5 people on one bike at one point. 3 kids and 2 adults. Madness.
I’m feeling rough still so sleep some of the way. Lucio shows us his grandpas house where he was born and grandpa still lives. So rural and untouched!
Arrive at first lodge and it’s in the middle of now where. No electricity. Cabin nice with ensuite for us both. Posh Essex girl however got a fright when a frog jumped out the loo as it flushed!! Lucky it was after she flushed and not on it! We have 1 hr to chill so sleep in hammock. So peaceful. Then off for zip wire and canopy walk. Pooped self at start but have jumped out a plane so get over it!! Great fun. Lucio finds a tarantula hide out and gets us to trick it out with a stick. Bit grumpy this one. Scary to be so close! Fascinating fauna and flora. Gnat hell begun. Need to spray as see them everywhere. When you stop they are around you immediately!! Back to lodge for lunch. Soup and lentils, rice and overcooked beef?? Does the job though! 2 hours rest until kayaking so another sleep on hammock. So tired and have migraine but hope sleep helps it!
Up and ready for kayaking. Neither of us have bloody headache tablets. Everything but!!! But anyhow where better could you be but kayaking on the amazon with a headache rather than at work like the rest of the UK and get a headache from all the crap going on!!
Need to get in water for kayaking so strip trousers to shorts and wish we had put our swim wear on! Doh!
Amazing time. Kayaking up and down the amazon. Stopped and ate fresh mangos, jumped out for a swim too, and why not, won’t get the chance again! Had a nice chat with Lucio on the river. He asked how old I was and didn’t seem shocked when I said 37. How rude!! He told posh Essex girl she looked 18-19 when she said she’s 29! His birthday is 31st October day before mine. My birthday is a national holiday here. Should move here!! Anyway back to the kayaking. Fast current in centre but we kayak up the sides and down the middle with current. Amazing!!
Filthy when back, so shower in clothes before heading off to lodge canopy to chill in candlelight!
Dinner by candlelight to. Soup, lovely chicken and veg for main and hot chocolate too. Lots of bugs mind, bit of extra protein I suppose!
More chatting to Lucio about his job, drugs in Peru, life in the UK and life in general. Lovely bloke. Bed by 8 as nothing to do and up at 4.45am to go to see parrots. Very warm still and have thermals to sleep in as long sleeved, have mosquito nets over bed so fingers crossed for gnat free good nights sleep.
Good nights sleep indeed and up at 4.45 to go see the parrots. Nice walk past the local houses. They live off such basics here. No electricity or hot water. Government a few years ago made sure they all have a working outside toilet although need to pump water to flush. Houses are just brick and tin roofs. No windows. They sit under roof but outside for meals. Out guide pointed out an Americans house. Thatched roof and much better quality. That’s their holiday home! Seems a harsh comparison for the poor neighbours.
At the clay lick we saw macaws, parrots and parakeets. So noisy when all together. I’m still in awe of the fast moving amazon beside us. No wonder the landscape is changing with the speed of the water and the clay soil.
Head back to lodge seeing weaving birds, woodpeckers to name a few. Lovely breakfast of omelette and fresh bread made by the neighbour. Have another snooze on the hammock before heading on to next adventure. The road back is apparently good now. If you compare to the UK we’d all be moaning at its state. The local school only has 9 kids now as most got to town due to this better road. Let me explain. It’s a dirt track. I saw no cars on it just bikes and tuktuks! At times it’s so bumpy we slow to walking pace. The 10km journey to the main road takes 45min. Then we can go a bit faster but lucio has an old bike so we were often overtaken. We asked him what would make his business easier and he said wifi. But for that you need electricity or solar power. Solar power about £7k and that’s more than a couple of years wages he says. Made me wonder what extra ‘luxury’ we would like to make life easier? Faster car, bigger tv? Doesn’t compare hey!
Sit at ‘holding’ lodge for 2 hours but can charge phone, dry clothes and swim if we fancy. I chill by pool in yes another hammock! Until the noisy Germans come along and start diving in the pool and blast out music! Not my idea of chilling in the jungle! Or am I just an old git!?!?
After 3 hours of nothing I ask the owner what’s happening. He says he can’t get hold of our guide so we are having lunch at the ‘holding’ lodge and he’ll take us to the snake sanctuary to kill time. Lots of animals at the sanctuary and all being nursed to health by the staff. See lots of snakes, tigerilos, and the randiest bloody turtle. Saw a male have his wicked way with 2 females whilst we were there. It was a bit of back to reality with the ‘holding’ lodge owner who’s phone went off every 5 mins whilst at the sanctuary. Miss the peace of the jungle!
Eventually guide showed up. Miscommunication over lunch and timings. I’m all moody as had to wait so long and we now have to wait whilst the 4 Irish dudes who we are joining sort their bags out. Posh Essex girl much more friendly and goes to chat to them whilst I sulk in car!! The second adventure then begins. Car to the river, river boat down the amazon, trek for an hour through the jungle, get a stamp in passport!! Yay, then a boat across the lake to our lodge! Must be in the middle of nowhere! The journeys were amazing. Boat ride down the amazon, seeing their golden gate to Peru was fab. Boat engine stopped at one point but thankfully just the lack of petrol and he had spare. The one hour trek was accompanied with ridiculous amounts of Mosquitos trying to eat us. Chatting to the Irish. One couple have been traveling for 2 years around South America. Have about 6 months left. Makes posh Essex girls 6 months sound ordinary for once. Must be mad being away for so long? But love the fact they are travelling as a couple and seem so happy!
Getting into the boat was interesting, 8 of us, nearly toppled a few times. The boat ride across the lake was at twilight, very eerie but amazing. It’s a river that links to the lake. Palm trees are taking over lake and are the reason it’s now an ox bow lake, for the geographers amongst you! Looks like a march of the palm trees! Looking out for caiman and saw loads of baby ones. Eyes glint in the torchlight. Also saw some Bats, and a heron. Felt like a horror movie as so quiet that at any moment something would jump out and kill us!
At the lodge we saw other people….madness I tell you!! Weird being at a busy lodge. Room nice enough with 3 beds but 2 made up. Posh Essex girl went for double before saying did I want to swap? Decided not so bothered and was then pleased with decision when we realised the mosquito nets are made for singles! Posh Essex girl tried to move the net over and in the process broke the fan and got splinters in her face! She’s such a cluts at times! All ok though. I bent fan back into place, suggested we moved bed not hanging net!! Had half hour until dinner but didn’t want to shower then get dirty again so chilled and unpacked. Very noisy people about. I miss our silent sole occupancy lodge from yesterday. Headed up to dinner following the loud voices to see some Peruvians drinking and laughing loudly. Very attractive (not) fat old Peruvian with his shirt undone. Such a lovely sight when you’re sitting down for food!! Dinner was some random rice meal wrapped in a leaf. Nice enough. Our tour guide doesn’t speak great English so conversation hard. He’s trying though. Knackered from the sweaty trek so headed back to shower and sleep. We have electricity until 9pm!! The luxuries.
Awful nights sleep. Bloody Peruvians next door talking and laughing again, playing music on their phones. Didn’t want to shout shut up and give away my Englishness!! Settled for shush. Which kind of worked for a moment although not sure in my sleepiness! Their noise went on until midnight on and off and we were up at 4.45!!! So hot as well, woke up completely sodden in sweat at one point. Attractive I know!
Alarm didn’t go off??
No idea why but ok as our tour guide woke us at 4.45 so rushed around getting ready and headed off to see more parrots. On boat at dawn was lovely, howler monkey calls are so loud, just echoing round the lake. Fascinating morning sounds. Much closer to the parrots and macaws today so really interesting. Then we got caught in a downpour! Ah well it’s not a rainforest without rain hey!!
Headed back for breakfast. Egg, sausage and bread. Even a cup of herbal tea!
Needed a sleep so back for a snooze! Omg found a dead cockroach in the shower! Minging! Hoping it came up the drain and its on its own! Only half hour rest though. Then off to see monkeys on monkey island. Walked to Irish dudes camp. Through local houses, such simplicities again. Chickens roaming, shack to live in, maybe 2 rooms only, no electricity just head torches and candles. These do like a wind up radio though! Out on boat again, so peaceful although getting hot now. Chatted to Irish dudes. The travellers have even done the Antarctic. Wel jel!! Giving me ideas! Lol
Having a good laugh with them and may be on the inca trail with them next week as they leave Monday too.
Monkeys were amazing, jumping from tree to tree. Canopy monkeys jump around Canopys getting food and throwing it half eaten, squirrel monkeys then eat the half eaten food! On way back we saw the otters. Only one family in whole lake so amazing to see. Eating fish about 40 m away! 5 of them.
So hot in jungle is the only downside. Makes you feel dirty all the time. Peruvian sweat is rather poignant, and the guides stink now! We do too but used to British sweat! We had some fun stops swinging in trees. I climbed up one like a monkey. Posh Essex girl managed to jump into a swing. Good fun. Boat ride home so hot. One of the guides noticed an odd mark on posh Essex girls chin. He says it could be a tarantula kiss! She’s panicking! Think he’s just teasing but now she’s worried its ring worm or something bad??
Lunch was huge and didn’t think I was hungry but ate it all. Surprising how much energy you use in the heat. Tried to get a coke but shop has run out!! How rude! Those bloody drunk Peruvians last night drinking it all I bet! Back to lodge to chill, I’m so tired I sleep again. Posh Essex girl heads off to a hammock. Not the same as yesterday’s clean and chilled place. This seems dirty and less chilled? Woke up feeling ill, hope I’m not having a bout of sickness or dioreha again?
Off for a swim with Piranhas, when else will I get the chance hey! Warm water is nice. Makes me feel better, maybe just dehydrated? The odd fish nips at me which freaks me out so don’t stay in too long! Some dogs head down to play, and 2 go swimming. Our guide says the caimans will eat them, I’m all panicked now, get out little doggy!!! It’s ok all safe and on land again. I’m chilling in the sun. So peaceful and lovely, well apart from bloody Mosquitos and the constant need for spray! Back at lodge and there’s another cockroach!!! Alive this time. Not good. Posh Essex girl uses her slipper thankfully and disposes of it! Yuck yuck yuck. Makes my skin crawl!
Head off to meet others for sunset boat ride. Taken to a tower to see whole lake. Beautiful. Few sunset photos taken. Then back to boat for rest of sunset. So peaceful and beautiful, just sit there in awe at times. When back to shore, our guide offers us a nighttime walk to look for snakes, spiders etc. Yes I say. Posh Essex girl is pooping herself as hates snakes and would rather not see one! But goes anyway. See an armadillo, well saw something run in front then a stripy tail! Saw some spiders eating their pray. A glow worm. It is so cool! You can actually use it as a torch! No snakes or tarantulas though! Absolutely knackered so pleased to have dinner and head to bed. Noisy group have gone. Yay. Think it’s just us tonight, so very peaceful. Even got a bigger table for dinner and a candle!! How very civil.
Even with the lay in until 6am, What an awful nights sleep again. There was a scratching at our door all night. Posh Essex girl freaked out so I said it’s the dog. Was hoping but wasn’t sure myself. Heard it licking itself so pretty sure!
In morning find dog outside whining. Poor thing. I go to stroke it and it’s got a hole in its back. Yuck!! And it stinks. Now I do love dogs but that smell was putrid! She bloody follows us to breakfast and I try to be nice again but it makes me want to gag. I put my face on my Peruvian sweaty smelling t shirt as that is the better option! Think the hole in the back is sceptic? She toodles off then anyway. Phew. Hope she gets better!
We walk back to the river to go home. An hours walk and hot already! Amazing walk though. See three kinds of monkeys. The best being the howler monkeys, love the noise. It’s like loud wind blowing and we saw them today too. Two families fighting. Awesome! Saw another tarantula and babies as well. Much more friendly this one. Came right out.
Walk was quicker than we thought. Had to sign out of national park and give feedback. I loved it so not much to improve. Maybe a canopy walk but then that may intrude upon the animals??
Met the Irish dudes on the boat. They had an early start to do the canopy walk. We were slightly put out as we haven’t done it but then wouldn’t off seen the monkeys so got over it!! Lol
Posh Essex girl asks about face mark again and he says it’s probably a fungus. Not so bad then?
Lovely boat ride back to port, although when we said we didn’t have our bus tickets it went all a big weird! Had a taxi waiting at port, the ‘holding’ lodge owner net is in a layby and gave us tickets in nutty polish girl and Essex Akons name??? We’re a bit concerned! Organiser says our guide would sort it? Guide then left us in taxi, said taxi driver would sort it? So no tip for him as felt a bit lost! To be fair taxi driver did sort it and we got on the day bus home!
The day bus was an adventure on its own!! Seats not as posh on way home. My long legs don’t fit well! Had allocated seats but as front was empty moved to use the space. Snack pack give again, very nice cake! The coach driver I’m sure is crazy. Takes bends so quick all our books, drinks etc fly off seats constantly. We nearly crash when driver got annoyed in roadworks and sped off, to find random cones blocking us. Emergency stop needed!! We then stop randomly at roadside and pick people up. At the customs check some weird lady tries to sit next to posh Essex girl then me then someone else looking like she’s avoiding the guards. When they get off she disappears to then back again!! Weird?
Have to move to actual seat half way as coach full. How rude!
We stop in a quaint little town for lunch? We just have a hot drink, watching a programme with acting as bad as eldorado if you’re old enough to remember? It was called El esdepardos or similar?
Back on coach, beautiful scenery around the Andes. Love it.
Had the chance to play bingo. Why not hey! Tests my Spanish numbers. 60 and 70 get muddled! Don’t win but good fun!
These coach seats are not for tall people. I’m so uncomfortable. Try lying, curling, stretching, knees up but all to no avail! Give up. Posh Essex girl ok. Must need to be 5 ft 8 or less I’d say! Journey takes forever. So many stops along the way. Hoped to be back for 8 but 8.30 and still on coach!
Home at 9pm, in need of a hot shower and clean clothes!!
What a fantastic few days though!!
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