<<  Puerto Maldonado, 5-Jul-2015  >>

Welcome to the jungle… again!

Jungle, parrots, monkeys, boats, rain, the whole thing… but no ayahuasca

There, on the other side of Andes, 12 hours by bus from Cuzco, after bunch of mountain passes and a looong descent downward from the Andes lies the Amazonian Rainforest and town of Puerto Maldonado is the main hub for this part of the mighty forest.
Puerto Maldonado, unlike Iquitos is wonderfully sleepy shithole. We were excited that after all those cold nights in and around Cuzco we would warm up in the tropics and we didn’t even take any proper clothes. Too bad that rare cold wave hit the region and instead of expected 33’C it was 15’C and raining all the time. The locals said that weather like this is only once or twice a year. Good to know that we were so “lucky”.

Just like with Iquitos also with Puerto Maldonado the point is not to go to the town but somewhere around, deeper in jungle. We opted for 2 nights at Lago Sandoval, 1 hour down the river on motor boat, then 1,5 hour walking through the rainforest and then 45 minutes rowing across the Lake Sandoval for to the final jungle lodge. Unlike Jacinto’s from Iquitos, this was a proper place, on terra firma, with beds and toilets and showers. This time it was kind of organized, but bit less authentic, meaning that No there was no need to piss in the middle of someone’s kitchen :-), bath with piranhas, nobody forgot a paddle when going for a canoe trip and we even understood what we were doing :-)
We did some walks (this part of Amazonia is not under water during and after rainy season) and some canoe trips. Lots of parrots, crocodiles, giant lake otters, obligatory tarantula and all the insects, and huge group of monkeys on our way back. This time I tried some rainforest delicatessen: termites and giant larva which lives inside some sort of nuts. The larva was quite disgusting to chew but tasted great. Like a nut :-) The termites were much easier to eat and swallow – they taste nice and fresh. Unfortunately it was raining a lot, but well, it is rainforest for reason!

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak