South America | Peru | Peruvian Amazon | Puerto Maldonado – Tough times in paradise
Hello from a cloudy little jungle metropolis.
Managed to get a whole 24 hours in town this time so no excuses for not updating the diary. Also it´s a Saturday so I´ll be able to see how this town can party. This will hopefully include a visit to the ‘Anaconda’ club which I have heard so many good (and bad) things about.
Will also give me a chance to eat like a pig and build up some fat stores to get me through the next week. Now, as you know food is close to my heart (and my stomach) and not getting enough is a problem. I´ve come to the conclusion that the lodge isn´t feeding me enough – a testament to this is that my trousers are constantly on the brink of falling down. Now I have thought of several ways to solve this problem:
Plan A: Buy a belt
Plan B: Buy a stove
Plan C: Sleep with the kitchen staff.
I have decided that plan B is probably the way forward since the belt option is only really a short-term solution to the problem and the guys in the kitchen are not really my type 😉
Things at the lodge have taken a bit of a turn for the worse after we got a new manager at the lodge – Giselle (or Cruella as she is affectionately known). This 76 year old dictator worked at the lodge when it opened in 1976. She has already started putting her foot down and has banned us from entering the kitchen (there goes plan C) – even just to chat to the staff. Also there was a party the other to celebrate the birthdays of a couple of the staff here. 2 of the guys got drunk and Cruella punishd them by giving them lines!!
I thought there might be some hope with her to change the menu at the lodge which she appeared to be keen on. I mentioned that a fried egg and 2 small bread rolls is not enough to keep you going the 8 hours until lunch. She suggested that we had slightly bigger bread rolls and had scrambled egg instead! Not quite the radical changes I had in mind.
We just had a guy down from California who has been looking at the possibility of constructing a tower to get a view over the canopy (which many of the lodges in the area already have). We went out with a GPS and a satellite image and decided on 5 locations that would give good views. I´ve no idea how long this plan will take to come to fruition but I´ll have to come back once it is finished.
OK, a bit of info about the pictures I have posted (remember, you may have to wait a day or two until the pictures are verified):
Red Howler Monkey: Big male that was quite content to stare at me glumly from a tree by the trail. Not really bothered by anything these guys.
Giant Otters: There is a family of these very rare creatures at one of the lakes near the lodge. Difficult to get photos of since they are underwater most of the time catching the 10 tonnes of fish that they get through every year.
Owl Butterfly: One of the biggest found in the area (has a wingspan of approx 8 inches! Beautiful patterning in the shape of both an owls face an the head of a snake to confuse predators.
Isula Ant: The largest ant in the jungle (approx 1 1/2 inches, 4 cm long – the coin in the picture is a 50 centimos, about the same size as a British penny). A bite from one of these can put you in a fever!
Party by the river: I know it´s a while since you have seen me dancing so here´s some proof that I am still hitting the floor occasionally. This was at Marcia´s (a resident naturalist who has recently left the lodge) birthday party which was held on the riverbank one night.