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Rainforest Expeditions: Day 1

April 14, 2011

Sunrise over the Tambopata River by Gabby Salazar


Rainforest Expeditions

Our flight left Lima at 8am and landed at 11am in Puerto Maldonado. Rick and I were exhausted. He (who never naps) fell asleep twice at the breakfast table in the airport while we were waiting for our coffee and sandwiches to arrive.

Rainforest Expeditions picked us up at the airport and took us over to the office where we repacked our luggage. We were able to leave a good 20 pounds at the office, but are still weighed down by the rest. Our checked luggage weighed in today at 66 kilograms. I’m not entirely sure where all the weight comes from, but it is there and it is heavy.

The boat to Posada Amazonas lodge was a short 45-minute drive. I spotted dusky titi monkeys and we also saw a capybara and some turtles. Our guide’s name is Armando and we will be accompanying him and a group of six other people for two days. They are all on the short tour, which packs in an incredible number of activities in 3D/2N. We are looking forward to piranha fishing, shaman consultations, and a visit to a clay lick. This tour will give us the opportunity fulfill the image needs of Rainforest Expeditions, while accessing some great locations (oxbow lakes, clay licks, etc) that would otherwise cost a fortune to visit on our own.

We checked into a beautiful room that is closed on three sides and entirely open to the forest on the fourth. There is a nice hammock inside and two beds with mosquito nets. The shower curtain is completely clear and so is the bathroom wall. We spotted a reddish hermit and an agouti right from our room.

The afternoon was spent on the canopy tower. We saw a channel-billed toucan and, my favorite, an ivory-billed aracari. Other sightings included russet-backed oropendula, pale-winged trumpeter, and a tityra.

We returned to the lodge to rest after an intense week of travel and had a lovely dinner. Tomorrow morning we rise at 4am for a visit to the oxbow lake with hopes of seeing giant river otters.

The lodge is spectacular, the service superb, and we rest with the awareness that we are spoiled rotten.

Butterfly (species unidentified) by Gabby Salazar

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