Posted by: Larzizou | July 22, 2008

Tambopata Reserve, Amazonian Jungle, Peru

Only the brave venture in the almighty jungle. Needless to say, only the daredevil venture in the Amazon jungle. How did I get there then (I am not known to be particularly brave) ? I got there because I could not fly to the jungle in Rurrenabaque in Bolivia. So here I am, ready to get “into the wild”.

Puerto Maldonado’s airport (the smallest I have ever been to) is only 30 minutes flying from Cusco. Puerto Maldonado is, as I recall, a small dusty, sweaty village boasting a few thousands people. More than anything, it is an access point to the 23 jungle lodges at an hour or so by boat down the river.

From Cusco, I opted for Ecoamazonia lodge, it looks decent and is one of the cheapest options. Going to the Amazon jungle is significantly pricier than Bolivia’s Rurrenabaque. I have a huge bungalow all to myself, named Tarantula. Each of the 45 bungalows is named after a wild and dangerous animal.

The first day, the first expedition sends us to the aptly named Monkey Island. See below.

This is our guide, Pedro. He will lead us through the arcanes of the Tambopata Reserve (and feed baby monkeys). Unfortunately, I do not recall the name of the species.

Looks full of bees to me.

This tree is very particular. Try to find out how. Hint : you can click on the picture.

Armed with rubber-boots, we get used to muddy soil. But not to mosquitoes nor humidity.

A spider/walking-tree so named because of its invasive roots.

Don’t move !

Would you imagine hunting down your food and eating it hung upside down ?

Monkeys are sneaky creatures. Preying.

Now, that is gorgeous. Lake Sandoval I believe.

Have you ever walked 5 hours through the jungle right after the wet season ? That’s why bridges are built.

No, Pedro does not have gigantic hands. Tiny turtle.

Spiky tree. You don’t want to hang to it not to fall (and you often are on the verge of falling).

Lianes.

Mushrooms. Magic ?

Sunset on the river.

That requires some serious skills.

That too.

Photographic moment.

Beautifuuuuuuuuuullllllll.

Peddling for over an hour and a half. You may notice that I am wearing the same t-shirt I was all over Africa and South America. This is because I brought about 5 t-shirts with me. My Romanian pal, sitting on my left, has had enough with peddling. The two Americans behind me too, as well as Anthonio behind them and the Norwegians behind him. So we peddle in turn, which does not make us go that fast.

Reflection.

Maybe 20 or 30 meters tall.

We are about to fish piranhas and catfish. But we do not catch anything today. Tougher during the dry season.

This is a Chihuahuaco. Like the dog+co. According to Pedro, he may be 300-400 years old.

Crossing a bridge.

Another boat ride.

Hundred eleven steps…

…to the viewpoint 34 meters high.

In the jungle, the rule of thumb is the following : the more colors an animal/plant has and the brightest the colors are, the more dangerous it is.

Reflection bis.

Croc !

(Turtle) Love.

An aspiring photographer.

Some more water play.

I do not believe I need to introduce him.

View from the hammocks facing the river at the lodge.

That one was wild.

Heliconias, my favorite flowers around.

Our group. Mostly Europeans.

A hell of a playboy. Hooking tunas.

Pedro is brave, picture. I know what you are thinking : “I would be brave too with a machete”.

Pedro is brave, video.

This needs explanations. I wanted badly a picture of me standing on this huge Chihuahuaco. So I climbed.

On the way down, Pedro opened the path with his machete. He accidentally unveiled this magnificent tarantula, hidden under a leaf, 12cm from my left foot. First I was afraid, I was petrified. Then I took upon me to… jump the hell away, even if it meant breaking a leg (I did not break a leg). Only the brave…

Bright colors – red flag : danger.

Very noisy birds.

It does not look like it, but I am about to fall in the pond.

You cannot get fresher heart of palm. Delicious. You may not realize, but to get heart of palm, you need to actually take down a palm tree. Probably why it is so (relatively) expensive.

Another oddity.

Tambopata river.

This post does not reflect the full extent of my experience in the jungle. (Un?)fortunately, I do not have pictures of my shamanic ayahuasca session, of the tapir hiding away from us, of us bathing in the dark water full of crocodiles and piranhas, of…

For more information… just go there !

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Responses

  1. Pretty sure that’s a frog, champ.


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