Saturday, 24 May 2014

Day three Tambopato Lodge

This was another early morning, delicious breakfast, and off for our adventure by 6:30. This time, we headed downriver for another hike, 8 kilometers through mucky mucky clay mud. To think that I used to love playing in mud as a child. After stumbling around in it for the last two days, I don't think I ever want to see mud again!

Along our morning hike, we saw up to a hundred pocket monkeys running and jumping through the trees. I have a terrific video of this on my camera, but it will have to wait until I get home so that I can download it onto my computer.

After about 2 1/2 hours of hiking, we arrived at an absolutely beautiful lake. These jungle lakes are formed when an oxbow in the river forms a complete circle, cutting off the river and filling in the center to form a lake. In time, these lakes grow smaller and smaller until they become a swamp. Today's lake was a fairly young one, which explains why it was so big and beautiful. We saw red howler monkeys which are much bigger than the pocket monkeys, a black caiman which is quite rare, many kingfishers, and several pairs of macaws flying in the distance....and too many different butterfly species to name!

There is a basic camp set up beside the lake with a very primitive outhouse with a squat toilet inside. We don't leave any toilet paper in the jungle. Pack your own in, put the used in a plastic bag, and carry it back out with you.

After another 8 hour hike back to the boat, spotting more pocket monkeys, we all cheered when we saw the boat waiting for us at the river. We had been on the go for 7 1/2 hours, and everyone of us were very hot and exhausted.

The first thing that we did when we got back to our lodge was to have a delicious, cool shower. Suddenly, a high wind came up, and all the clothing that we had laid out to dry on our porch started to blow away. The temperature suddenly dropped from very warm to very cold, and we had to get into our beds to warm up. I soon found my eyes getting very heavy, and dropped off into the most wonderful sleep for the 2 1/2 hours. Surprisingly, the storm was still raging, with very high winds, cold temperatures and intermittent heavy rain. Given that two walls of our lodge were just open screens with no wondows or shutters, it was very windy in our lodge, and it was just as cold and windy inside as it was out. Since there wasn't much else to do, we climbed back into bed and had an early night. Fortunately, there were lots of heavy blankets in our lodge, and once we warmed up, it was nice and toasty except for those middle of the night bathroom breaks.

Heavy heavy jungle rain!


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