Amazonian Heat Wave…

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Buenas Noches…it is after 7 pm in Cusco, Peru. I feel as if I had way too many Pisco Sours as we are at 9,000 feet in this gorgeous Incan city.

We flew in late afternoon from the Amazon and let me tell you if you a faint of heart, menopausal, or affected by extreme heat, do not attempt the jungle.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

We arrived in Puerto Maldonado, an extremely poor remote town with the best access to the rainforest lodges. We were taken by boat to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. The Madre Dios river is one of the tributaries of the Amazon and flows into Bolivia…wide, muddy with high banks, caiman alligators, cows and naked children bathing outside.

Caiman Alligator
Caiman Alligator
Our room
Our room
Sunrise Thrugh Mosquito Netting
Sunrise Thrugh Mosquito Netting

The resort was lovely. Our room was all open so a bit of modesty was necessary. My favorite part was hangin’ in the hammock in the front room with a view of the river.

Relaxing In My Hammock
Relaxing In My Hammock

The first night we look an evening cruise on the river and spotted indigenous birds, caiman alligators and a million stars. The Southern Cross shined brightly and is upside down below the equator.

Canopy Walk
Canopy Walk

Up early for a trek through the rainforest and a walk on the wild side above the trees. We climbed 155 steps up a tower, at the very least, 50 feet in the air. We then traversed 6 walkways and ended at a treehouse where you can spend the night for 2,000 sol. For that price,  give me the Four Seasons.

We then hiked deeper into the rainforest to the wetlands and spotted monkeys, a three-toed sloth and a plethora of insects. By then, I was ready to throw my saturated body in amongst the alligators.

Red Howler Monkey
Red Howler Monkey

On the way back to the eco lodge it was 97 degrees with 100% humidity. We were in our $100 bug repellent shirts from REI (I actually experienced bugs dying on my shirt, leaving streaks of blood) and waterproof long pants, heavy socks and rubber boots because the mud was a foot deep…not dressed for the heat.

A shower was the greatest moment of my life. Clean and fed, I realized that I must be suffering heat stroke and delirium because, when I regained consciousness, I was back on the river headed to Lake Concepcion to paddle around a lake area filled with birds and red howler monkeys…no anaconda, thankfully.

Most of the people were older at the lodge and boring…we did meet a wonderful family from Arizona, with the ages ranging from 9 to 86.

I also became friendly with the resident tapir. A tapir is a large mammal that despite it’s pig-like appearance, is believed to be most closely related to horses and rhino. Thy have a long snot and are herbivores. Tapirs are on the endangered species list because humans hunt them for food and their leathery skin.

Tapir
Tapir

Today, we took an hour boat ride back to the shores of Puerto Maldonado. We hopped an open air bus and drove on to the airport.

bus

We touched down in Cusco in the afternoon, dropped off our bags and perused the medieval, Spanish colonial Plaza  and was able to revel in the splendid sunset.

Thankfully, the temperature is dropping to 40 tonight. Fingers crossed, I am presently malaria and yellow fever free.

Sunset In Cusco
Sunset In Cusco

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