Peru – Part 3: La Jungla
We get in a van.
We drive to a lake.
We stop at a wildlife spotting tower.
And spot a WILD GUINEA PIG!
Then stop in bread town.
Then stop for coffee and spot wild kittens.
We see the region.
We learn some history of the region.
We meet the bust of a Swede.
He welcomes us to Parque Nacional del Manu.
With its thousands of aves and mariposas. And 15 primates.
3600 meters in the air. Our heads explode.
The journey into the jungle has begun.
The roads get bendy.
The flora gets odder.
And more biological still.
Familiar fruits abound.
And less familiar ones.
The animals get more vibrant.
The humans more understated.
The sticks come to life.
We stop periodically to peer down cliffs.
Always check the spotting scope.
There might be strange flowers.
Or strange fungus.
Or strange monkeys!
But darkness starts to fall.
And darkness on dirt cliffs is dangerous.
So we find a cozy mosquito net to sleep in.
In the morning, we can actually see our cabins.
And the fruits in the garden.
On the road again, we find ginger on the side of the road.
And food for guinea pigs, dogs, cats.
And old infrastructure.
We reach the port of Atalaya.
We are warned to avoid dengue fever.
And to avoid being murdered by undiscovered tribes!
We’ll keep that in mind as we head down the river.
We leave port behind.
And head away from the last remnants of civilization.
No need for the emergency oar.
The motor works, for the most part.
And eventually, we pull up on a non-descript rocky shore.
And hike up to our home for the next two nights.
Isabelle and I sleep in this one.
The kitchen is nearby.
Despite semi-hostile living conditions, the food is delicious.
We have mysterious fruit around.
And other mysterious fruits.
And mysterious coconut or coconut-like globes.
And mysterious cones.
We have cool neighbors.
It’s time for our first journey into the jungle.
Into the thicket.
The trees are octopodes.
There are bees.
The guide pokes his hand into a lump.
It’s full of termites. We eat them. They’re ok.
There are also spiders.
Then we take a little boat trip across the river.
And trudge to shore.
We make our way inland.
Avoiding pools of mystery.
Katy keeps an eye out for exciting vegetation.
Such as this vegetation.
Which is transported by ants.
There are some safe crossings.
We reach a small oasis.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be out there, on the water?
We get out there, on the water.
Isabelle spots something!
It’s a drowning moth.
We are wildlife conservationists.
From the lake we see the tree sacks.
Then we see the sun set.
And we trudge back to the boats in artificial illumination.
And head back to the cabin side.
For a decidedly darker forest walk.
We see giant spiders, in the dark.
We see poison frogs, in the dark.
We see… paw prints. In the dark.
JAGUARS. Let’s head back.
The morning brings different predators.
And a boat trip.
For some early morning bird spotting.
The early morning clouds roll in.
And I discover that I will most likely die.
Another jungle trip, another walking tree.
Ants going home.
Brandon & Katy under the largest tree.
Isabelle & me under the largest tree.
We love trudging.
We find a tree that bulges.
It puts out… legs.
Plenty of legs.
Cocoa pods, or some other pods?
Leaves with gigantism.
Holy cow, what is that little brown thing!?
Little brown monkeys!
Night settles in, and more jaguar prints appear.
And spiders. Night time is bad time.
In the morning, the last shove off.
The boat goes back to port.
The van goes back to town.
That is the jungle.