Amazon trip, Day 1

When Adam mentioned he was interested in going to Peru, I said we could go as long as we went to the Peruvian Amazon.  The Amazon rainforest has long been a source of fascination for me and I couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to finally see the rainforest.  There are different rainforest destinations within Peru and it didn’t take me long to hone in on Manu when I read about its pristine forests and concentration of birds.  Unfortunately, time  is always in short supply on our trips so the three-day, two-night Manu Cloud Forest trip was the only option we could go with.  As our trip to Peru approached, I realized this meant we would only have one full day in the cloud forest since the car ride to and from Cusco takes seven to eight hours.

The first day of our much anticipated trip had finally arrived and we were picked up from our hotel and picked up two more passengers along the way–a father and his older daughter.  As we drove outside of Cusco, one of the guides talked about what some of the towns we drove past specialized in (i.e. chiccarones, etc).  We stopped in a town with several bakeries to try freshly baked bread and to take a look at the oven of one of the bakeries which was made with clay mixed with human hair (the hair serves a binder which prevents cracks and fissures).  Our next stop was a wetland preserve where we walked across a muddy path to a bird hide and did a little bird watching.

wetland preserve- A photo 1

We stopped off another spot to do some bird watching and admired the pre-Incan ruins.

en route to Manu pre-Incan ruins I- A photo

At some point, the paved road became a narrow dirt road and we began ascending.  We stopped off at these pre-Incan archaeological ruins which had previously held mummified bodies.

en route to Manu ruins II- A photo 1

en route to Manu ruins IIb

en route to Manu ruins II- A photo 2

The dirt road was used by vehicles going in both directions but some of those vehicles were large trucks or buses and, occasionally, we would have to pull over to the side to allow other vehicles to pass or inch past other vehicles.  By midday, I was sleepy and couldn’t keep my eyes open despite the fact that we were completely enshrouded in fog, something we haven’t encountered before.  We stopped for lunch at a spot in this foggy area and I shivered as I ate my lunch.

en route to Manu lunch stop- A photo

We stopped off at a small town famous for a parade with characters mocking their Spanish colonizers.

fruit from the Amazon

en route to Manu small town

en route to Manu small town face mask

Finally, we pulled into the jungle and arrived at our lodge’s famous cock of the rock lek just as it was starting to get dark and watched the male birds display.  Afterwards, we were able to relax in our lodges and then met in the dining area for a presentation and dinner.

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