Before we get any further, let me just note that most of the photos in the Amazon were not taken by me. If it’s of a multi-legged creature, I can tell you with absolute certainty that I did not take it. But Keely, Marilyn & Andrew kindly shared their photos with me, so you can get a clear guide of what life in the jungle really is like.
Okay, back to my adventure.
Today we went to the Amazon. Our guide Josais is the best jungle guide ever, seriously. He took us out for breakfast, and then back to the Belen market to buy ingredients for ceviche. Then we got in a cab, drove to another market, walked to the water and jumped in a boat. The perfect adventurous start.
And a short boat ride later and we were there. We arrived during the low season so there were wooden planks we had to climb to get from the boat to the camp. In high season, the boat can go all the way. You will see a tree below, half white half brown — in high season, the water goes all the way up to the white on the tree.
As we got settled Josais made us some ceviche, and we figured out the daily routine. We had an hour for breakfast, then some kind of activity, and we’d be back at camp for lunch. It was too hot out to do anything right after lunch, so we’d have a few hours to hang out (literally, there’s a room full of hammocks), and then we’d go back out for some adventure in the afternoon.
After the heat broke, we went to a place that will be hard to top: Monkey Island! This is a rehabilitation centre for monkeys and other animals, and was just really amazing to be. I’ve discovered I don’t really like monkeys crawling all over me (was anyone really surprised?) but it was fun to see them interacting with each other.
Josiah told us how his mom used to work in a nursery in his village (he grew up in the jungle), and they had a spider monkey who would make sure all the cradles were gently rocking at all times.
Oh, and I also held a sloth.
All the views from Monkey Island were phenomenal. Animals + views = lets spend every day here. It was pretty hard to convince Keely and Marilyn to depart; the monkeys loved them!
On our way back to camp, we did some fishing, and then had a few hours at camp before preparing for a night hike.
I will save you from having to experience that hike. Tarantulas, toads, mosquitos and lots of other multi-legged creatures appeared. I was very good at making sure I was never at the back of the line.