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Dave & Reece -Travel’s Travel Diary

Friday, 25 Aug 2006

Location: Amazon, Peru

MapCuzco as we have said has a multitude of choices for the traveller and non less so for the Amazon. We spent a while deciding on a tour and picked a remote location just inside the border of Bolivia called The Heath River Wildlife Centre. We booked in our flights (30 mins) the road travel was 2 - 3 days and headed off on a 10.30am flight.

All was good we arrived and were met at Peurto Maldonado by a guide ane he left us in a Butterfly sanctuary while he scuttled off to meet another group coming with us; we enjoyed the varieties of butterflies and their life cycles and looked forward to our Amazon Adventure.

After being picked up and taken to the office for transfer, we received a phone call from the Cuzco office saying the trip had to be cancelled due to security reasons and un identified boats in the area – quite bizarre.

Inka Natura was the tour operator and the agent said that she was sorry and would refund all our money and could we take another tour, I must say I was miffed about not going to Heath as they had a great Macaw clay lick, but was amazed when she returned with US cash and promptly handed out the money to us, saying we were booked into a hotel for the night - gratis and would pick us up in the morning. Ola!!!

We wadered around town in awe at the amount of motorcycles in this frontier town, zillions and you call wave down a taxi moto for a ride for .25 centavos - 5 cents US don´t expect a helmet though, we decided on a safer option on a Tuk Tuk a three wheeled motorcycle imported from India for our tour of town

We decided on another lodge that had a clay lick called Wasai Tambopata Lodge in the reserved zone of Tambopata.

Wasai is a palm whose roots are boiled for the drinking of, to get rid of gallstones, thought you would be eager to know that.

So we set off next morning for the lodge, 5 hours away by boat up river in the remotest of regions calling in a village on the way where the local Sharman was concocting a local brew of ¨ Iowaska¨ a hallucinating brew for the next ceremony.

After picking up some more travellers we headed off past miners in boats dredging for gold, local villagers awaiting the taxi boat to take their bananas to town and an increasing diversity of wild like eagerly pointed out by our effervescent guide Josie.
Arriving at our lodge late afternoon we were greeted by the lodge staff with a great Buenos Dias smile and we headed off to our cabins for a cold but refreshing shower.

The evening bought an investigation in the jungle for wildlife by torchlight, fireflies, beetles, spiders, monkeys and birds.

Dinner was served before heading to bed to be up at 4.30am for another boat trip 1.5hrs up river to the Macaw clay lick.

We arrived just after sunrise to settle down with a coffee to await the birds, which were not long in arriving, first were the Amazon dusky headed, Toucans, Parakeets and the Macaws who were chatting for ages before they finally settled on the river bank to ingest the clay which is said to help neutralize the toxins of the fruit they eat, we had Blue and Gold, Scarlet, Chestnut fronted mini and Green winged Macaws – Reece was loving life.

Back down the river for lunch before a swim in a local waterfall and back for dinner and a night of Cayman hunting via spotlights.
A good night’s sleep before heading back down to Puerto Maldonado with our fellow travellers and the return flight to Cuzco.

A great time was had by all and not a bad price too

- Gracias Inka Natura por todo -