The Amazon

On Monday we left from our hotel around 6am to head for the Cusco airport to catch our plane to Puerto Maldonado…the home of the rainforest.  We said good-bye to our new friends at Jorge’s hotel and off we flew.

Tina and Donna on the boat ride to the Lodge

Carolyn battling the wind

We arrived in Puerto Maldonado around 9:30am to chilly, rainy weather. Here we were met by our guide, Iris, who was with us the whole time we were in the Amazon.  We dropped off our luggage at their local office (we were only allowed a duffel bag to the resort because there was a weight limit for the boat ride we had to take to get there) and hopped on a covered boat.  The boat ride was interesting to say the least…it was cold, rainy and windy and we made the best of it by laughing at each others raincoats whipping around in the wind.

Our jungle huts

We checked into our cute little huts at the Corto Maltes Lodge in the middle of the Amazon and then had a delicious lunch made from all local ingredients from the rainforest.

“in the jungle, the mighty jungle”

We headed out at 3:30pm, raincoats and all, for our first trek into the jungle.  We walked for about an hour and a half with Iris who focused on all of the botanical and medicinal aspects of the rainforest.  We saw a gamut of amazing things from trees whose bark smelled like garlic to leaves that were natural anesthetics.

At 7:30pm we took a night boat ride along the Madre de Dios River to scout for the white camen (small crocodile like creatures).  We saw several of them and were absolutely amazed by the keen eye of the jungle guides to spot these creatures in the dark!

We ate dinner at 8pm, headed to our huts, slept to the amazing sounds of the jungle and then were up at 5am to start the day again.

Chris and a 300 year old tree

We began our day on Tuesday by taking a 20 minute trek to a look-out location where we watched hundreds of Dusty Headed Parakeets flock among the trees for their morning ritual.  Breakfast was at 8am and then we had some time to soak in the 80 degree sun before we were off again at 10:30 by boat to the Tambopata National Reserve…sporting our knee high, and very Diva I might add, rubber boots!

Our day consisted of walking in goopy mud along the trail for 3km (~2.3 miles) to Lake Sandoval, where we then boarded a canoe and spent a couple hours on the lake spotting 3 types of monkeys (including the Red Howler Monkey), several species of birds and absolutely breathtaking flowers and foliage.  We soaked in the warm sun and totally enjoyed our time on the lake!

After our trek in the mud

We then headed back, boots and all, to our starting location and enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the Madre de Dios River on our boat ride back to the Lodge.  We spent the evening laughing, missing our new Peruvian friends from the trail and playing cards.

This morning we start our long journey back home to the United States.  Overall this was an amazing journey and I was blessed to have 7 amazing women join me on my third time in this miraculous country.  We were blessed so much along the way from the weather being perfect just about every day, the “beautiful” (that one is for you Edgar!) new friends we met (romances and all!) to the miraculous things we all learned about this sacred country and its sites but most importantly…what we learned about ourselves.    We all would agree that throughout everything we experienced, from the amazing to the frustrating, we were able to cleanse, release and transform in a way that changed us all forever.   This has been a journey I know I will never forget and the changes will continue when we return…because that is what this country does…it stays with you forever.

For those of you who faithfully followed our journey on this blog, I thank you!  It was nice to know we had “cheerleaders” back home.  🙂  If any of you are interested in taking a journey like this one, I will be returning to Peru again in April of 2013.  I would love to have you join me!!!  Again, thank you to Sacred Earth Journeys (www.sacredearthjourneys.ca) for putting together an amazing agenda for us!!

Continue to watch my blog because starting on Monday; I will be posting daily inspirational messages to the blog Monday through Friday.

We are off to catch our plane, so until next time….

Much love and gratitude,

On our way home

Chris and her “Princesses”

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