On our early morning jungle walk, temperatures already climbing, we came across all manner of spiders, insects and an abandoned beehive which Doug began wearing as a hat. We eventually reached a primitive, remote village on the bank of the Amazon.
There we were given a real treat as a boy allowed us to hold a one year old beautiful orphaned jaguar he was looking after before releasing it into the wild. It was a truly beautiful cat and already much larger than most dogs, let alone cats. Its growing maturity indicated by the dozens of scratches the boy had received while looking after it.
That afternoon Juan took us across the lake where we visited a GARGANTUAN tree. It was 450 years old and was sacred to the indigenous peoples there who completed an annual blood-letting ritual around the tree. The trunk spanned more than ten metres at its base.
Jungle Night Walk
That night we finally went for our much-anticipated night walk into the jungle. We had been promised that the darkness would mean a wholly new array of wildlife would appear. Immediately upon leaving the lodge we came across a huge three metre long snake crossing the path.
It was red with bright yellow patches and upon seeing us it curled fiercely. Juan bent down to pick up a stick with a ‘Y’ shaped tip. Doug asked him ‘Is it very poisonous?’ ‘Deadly’ Juan replied, before leaping towards it, thrusting his stick like a spear. The snake dodged and slid off into the undergrowth. Juan is as mad as a bucket of frogs.
We also saw huge toads and Doug spotted a big spider-like creature with crab claws on a tree, midway through eating another bug. Juan revealed that this was the adult form of the larvae he had eaten the night before! Urgh! Although we didn’t see anything else quite so exciting it was great fun trekking, listening to the sounds of the jungle.
Leaving the Lodge
Up at 5 am the next morning we paddled the canoe out onto the lake to catch a stunning sunrise and visit the monkeys one last time.
Later that afternoon we said goodbye to Juan and were taken back to Leticia and Gustavo’s where we rewarded ourselves with giant pizzas (which were slow to arrive, Aukje impatiently asked Gustavo ‘How many seconds are there in a Colombian minute?’ to which he replied ‘Many, many’).
The girls all left us the following day, heading for Bogotá in northern Colombia, whilst we were booked on an even lengthier cargo ship journey back to Iquitos.
Hell-hole Part 2