Life In The Amazon 

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Somehow slept okay on my second night in the jungle. Absence of near-hurricane definitely aided this. Slept a bit too well actually, and woke up 3 minutes before we had to leave for the boat at 4am. Hurriedly pulled on our wet, stinking clothes from yesterday, drowned ourselves in mosquito repellent, strapped on our head torches and headed sleepily through the dark wilderness to the boat. We went to the “claylicks” (clay river banks) to watch for wildlife (macaws and parrots especially like to eat the clay to get salt and nutrients, and it also neutralises the toxins in many of the plants they eat.. weird!). Saw a caiman and a few birds.

parrots 1


The rest of the morning was so rainy, it was spent at the lodge watching a nature documentary from the 90s about jungle birds, quite amusing. Unfortunately it was in Spanish, so one of the guides was attempting a running interpretation of the narration; a little distracting to say the least.

We were lucky enough to accompany the researchers to check on some baby macaws a bit later on. This involved the researchers harnessing up, scaling a tree, and sending the birds down in a bucket which were then examined on a hot water bottle to keep them warm! I won’t lie they were pretty ugly… Resembling foetuses with beaks and claws. They would soon be flourishing and showing off their colours though; everyone’s heard of the ugly duckling right?


Went on a swampy walk in the afternoon and saw three different types of monkey. Also had some near death experiences involving a rotten tree, a mosquito and some angry monkeys:

1) The Rotten Tree
The jungle was silent, until the familiar pattern of raindrops started teasing the canopy. We stopped to pull on our oh-so-sexy plastic ponchos, and just as we were about to set off again, a gigantic tree crashed down into the path about 4 metres away, without any warning whatsoever. We couldn’t speak for shock, if we had been 2 seconds further ahead we would have been squished right down into the sludge. Thank you jungle god whoever you are.

2) The Mosquito
Walking through the jungle at times feels like a game of bug-dodgeball. 10 points if you come out without any insects having flown into your eyes, nose, mouth or ears. Not as easy as it may sound. This afternoon, our guide somehow breathed in a mosquito and was unable to breath for a few minutes. It was terrifying.. I think we all learnt that these sly creatures can be dangerous in more ways than one!

3) The Angry Monkeys
We spotted some brown capuchin and spider monkeys in the canopy above. As we were craning our necks and admiring the innocent little things, we heard some screeches and then it started raining objects. Sour jungle fruits and other unidentifiable foodstuffs were being hurled at us from above; these not-so-innocent-any-more-creatures had obviously taken a disliking to us. Time to escape back to civilisation (by civilisation I mean the lodge, if that can be considered civilisation. It’s the closest we would come for 2 more days anyway!).

To be continued…

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