A Travellerspoint blog

Peru - Day 14 (July 19, 2023)

Puerto Maldonado

Description

Early start to see wildlife in the Tambopata Nature Preserve and Lake Sandoval
Afternoon walk to see the birds above the canopy

Lodging

Corto Maltes

Details

We had a very early start (5:30 AM ready to go in the lodge) because the wildlife waits for no man. There was no electricity at that hour so we got ready by headlamp. I saw Froggy on the sink. Luckily there was coffee, tea, and cold cereal available in the lodge.

We set out in the boat for the nature preserve. When we arrived we walked on a boardwalk through the jungle to the lake. It was a long pleasant walk and we saw howler monkeys, capuccin monkeys, and parrots on the way. We were getting to know Franklin, who is a fascinating and knowledgeable guide, never without his machete. When we got to the lake we boarded a long, narrow rowboat and rowed (Franklin rowed) into the lake and around the perimeter. We had a bag breakfast and got our first exposure to piranhas. They liked the breakfast too! We saw beautiful birds including ibis, kingfisher, cormorants and microbats. We also saw many butterflies. The only animal we missed was the giant otter. We were sorry he didn't make an appearance, but Franklin told us he sees the otters on maybe one out of five trips. They are at the top of the food chain in the Amazon. Even the caimans are afraid of the giant otters because they hunt in packs and can subdue and consume the caimans (!!)

After lunch and a rest we took our second walk in the jungle. By now our group numbered just three plus Franklin and that was pretty nice. We learned about the rubber industry (caucho) which fed the worldwide demand for Goodyear tires. We saw the rubber trees and the taps. The rubber industry was extremely exploitative and the local workers were treated like slaves. Then we learned about the Brazil nut industry and saw how the nuts grow inside a pod that looks like a coconut. Franklin told us that as a young boy he worked picking up the Brazil nuts with his father. They used a long stick which fans out at the bottom so as not to accidentally touch something venomous. We walked further into the jungle and came to a giant tree (fig?) with a long ladder like stairway leading up above the canopy. We walked up and up and up until we were at the top and then we walked up once more to a height of 42 meters. At the top Franklin played recordings of birdsong and we saw all kinds of parrots and vultures. It felt quite fantastic up there!

We enjoyed another good dinner and went to bed early in our comfortable room, complete with mosquito netting over the bed. We were actually very fortunate with the weather which was warm but not too hot and the lack of bugs. We learned that cold winds come up from Patagonia during the winter and cool things off in the jungle.

Videos

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Posted by rewagner 21:26 Archived in Peru

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