Hey! This is Laura Beth again! I just wanted to write about what we did the last few days of the expedition, since we didn’t have Internet access where we are staying and couldn’t blog every day.
On Saturday we flew out to a tiny airport at Puerto Maldonado, which is in the rain forest area. I wish all airports were like that! Everything there was so calm and there was no possible way to get lost. There was one thing I was not prepared for, however, once I stepped out of the plane: the humidity. The air was so thick that at first it was kind of hard to breathe! I soon got used to it though, and started to appreciate the beauty of the area.
We drove for about an hour in a bus down a muddy road, and then took a boat for an hour and a half down one of the Amazon river tributaries. Once we got to our new home for the next few days, a few of us were very surprised. I guess the lodge can kind of be described as sleeping on a porch in a bed covered in mosquito netting. We didn’t have electricity or hot water, and there were no doors or locks to separate the rooms–just curtains! I don’t know about anyone else, but I loved it! We could all hear monkeys and birds at night, and the rain falling, and the first night I found a three-inch-long grasshopper (well, at least it looked like a grasshopper) in my bed! Everything was beautiful, even the cockroaches! My mom and I took pictures of the roaches we found in our bags because they were the prettiest roaches we’d ever seen–with red and brown bodies.
One of my favorite things was the canopy tower. It was a 120-foot-tall metal structure that rose over the tallest trees and allowed us to see as far as we wanted! We went up small stairs, and then climbed up a little ladder to the very top of the tower. When we were at the top, even the wind blowing rocked the tower back and forth! Our guide, however, assured us it was perfectly safe, and besides, the view was amazing!
We stayed up in the tower for a while, seeing some parrots and three macaws. It was once we climbed back down that I realized exactly how thick the trees were! The sun was setting, but up in the tower we could still see perfectly fine. Once we were back safely on the ground it was pitch black!
In our free time we stayed outdoors (well, there was no “indoors!”) A few of us turned over rocks and tree stumps looking for tarantulas, and others enjoyed the hammocks! We also took advantage of the “no doors, no locks” and played pranks on each other.
On Tuesday we left the rain forest, and that night we had our farewell dinner. The restuarant was very nice, and it overlooked the coast of the Pacific. After dinner we headed to the Lima airport to continue the looonnnnnnng journey home.
Saying goodbye was hard, so I just decided that instead I would think of it as “See you at a reunion soon!” I am also thinking of this trip to Peru as my first trip to Peru, as I am definitely going to return! Peru hasn’t quite gotten rid of me yet…!