Most long trips have a “Grit your teeth and bear it” component, sometime after the initial joy and rush of travel has worn off and before the home stretch.
For Sally and me, the grit-our-teeth portion of Peru was when we entered the Amazon Rain Forest. The un-air-conditioned Amazon Rain Forest! The no-wall-between-us-and-the-jungle Amazon Rain Forest. The no-doors-on-our-room (just a curtain) part of our trip. The Amazon Rain Forest where a tarantula (yes, a real tarantula) was outside our room when we came back from supper one night.
Of course, this was our grandson Lake’s favorite part of the trip. He loved it. From our rooms, we could see monkeys playing in the trees just a few feet away. We could watch huge macaws flying through the forest canopy.
Our lodge was near the Tambopata River. It was very warm (even though it is winter in Peru right now) and the heat was without relief. We were without electricity or creature comforts for three nights and four days. No wonder sloths (and we saw one) move so slowly. It’s hot and humid and buggy down there! We slept under a mosquito net, which kept not only the mosquitos off our bodies, but also kept the tarantulas and the small rodents that scurried through our rooms in the night at a safe distance.
Speaking of rodents, we saw a pig-sized animal on the riverbank during our 45-minute boat trip to the Posada Amazonas Lodge. It was a capybara, the world’s largest rodent, the size of a pig!
We had a 4 a.m. wake up call for the first morning, and we were on our way to see the rare Giant River Otter. Jenna, our oldest daughter (Lake’s mom) brought her sophisticated camera with her and took some incredible pictures of the Amazon wildlife. My pictures are good enough for this blog, but that is about the limit of my ability.
Nobody’s photos do justice to the experience, however, the smells of the rain forest, the strangeness of sounds. With no wall between ourselves and the jungle, we heard bizarre bird calls, whistles, trills, honks, warbles, buzzes and honks I have never heard in South Carolina.
There are worlds I know nothing about!
More pictures of our Peru trip are on my Facebook page: