Sunday, May 20, 2012

Amazon Jungle – Peru – May 17 – 20, 2012

We completed our Peru Adventure with a side-trip deep into the Amazon Jungle.  We flew into Puerto Maldonado and we taken by river boat down the fast moving Rio Bajo Madre De Dios approx 30km to our to the Eco Amazonia Lodge located in the middle of the 10,000 hectare ecological reserve know as The Tambopata,  for the beginning of our three day Jungle adventure.

River Boat in Puerto Maldanodo, and Gold Sluicing river boat

Along the way we witnessed many gold sluicing vessels.  These are really not much more than a long ponga with a generator powering a long sucking hose stuck into the river to create a large sluice on board.  We were told that many of these illegal operator were pulling 20+ ounces of raw gold per day...if you do the math...that’s a lot of money!....sounds like a great way to spend your retirement, however, as the process is illegal there are no guarantees that your competitors might not put you out of business in not so friendly a manner.

Our time at the Lodge was fairly structured with walking tours once or twice daily.  Our accommodation, altho Spartan was comfortable enough.
Eco Amazonia Lodge accommodations, Spartan but comfortable!

Altho, we only had power from 5-8 in the evening...and no power, ie...lights when you were up at 5 am for the first my humble opinion, someone needs to rethink that program.  However, the food was good, and we did get to see a lot of jungle.  More jungle than critters...a lot of birds...

Birds of the Amazon
...monkeys a plenty, Cayman a plenty, two tarantulas, a few land snails, a couple of small turtles, a lot of birds, and a ring tailed quasi raccoon type who was very friendly and wanted to come back to the Lodge in the riverboat. 

Amazon Critters

There was a lot of rain and the trails were mud slick...if I don’t sound totally enamored with it...Kaija was thrilled, and even went Piranha fishing in the rain with Jerie while John and I took shelter, saddled two very comfortable hammocks and got caught up on our reading.
Hammocks a plenty and Jerie fishing for Paranha

All in all, I will admit that the our foray into the Amazon Jungle was quite relaxing especially after a month of non-stop hurrying about.  Rested up and satiated we departed the jungle for our flight back to Lima and on to Panama.

We learned that the Peruvian people have an amazing history.   They are industrious, creative, very artistic, engaging with warm friendly smiles.  We only toured the southern half of Peru and understand that the north section is quite different.   

We were thrilled to have made this trip and felt luck and good fortune smiled on us in providing two terrific travel buddies, John and Jerie Milici Mv Peking.  Their good humor and willing spirit really added to our experience.  Also, we need to mention Maria of Over Peru Viajes Land Tours for arranging our total adventure.  She did a fantastic job, providing in most cases, more than we asked for and all within budget.  Thank you Maria.  If you are planning a trip to Peru or Chile she can be reached via email at

Jerie, Maria, Kaija, Gary & John

We will long consider this to be an adventure of a Lifetime.  We can now check it off our ‘bucket list’ and we encourage each of you to review yours and if you have not included Peru…you might consider doing so.