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Jungle diaries – Day 3 5th May

June 2, 2008

I didn’t feel too bad at 5 am as we started through the forest towards the boat. The sunrise was again beautiful! We travelled about 5 minutes upriver to the colpa (clay lick), disembarked and sat to watch. My first colpa was a little disappointing, not because of the birds, but because of the attitude of the kids.

Colpa

There weren’t too many birds at the colpa (it’s a friaje after all) but the noise and the colours were still awesome – macaws, parrots, parakeets, parrotlets and other birds all sitting in the trees or eating the clay. Without binoculars some of the detail was difficult to see, but the sight of the entire flock taking off when startled was stunning.

The kids were completely disinterested, which was a bit of a shame – maybe the higher group will be more enthusiastic next week! By then the friaje should be over and there should be more birds should be about.

Breakfast was VERY welcome after a long morning! So much so that I had double helpings (this is becoming a habit – the food is great and we’re busy all day so I’m always really hungry at mealtimes) There was some kind of banana-oat drink, scrambled egg cooked to perfection, 3 sorts of bread and jam.

Activity 1 was an ‘ecology’ walk through the jungle looking at examples of adaptation, competition etc. as well as looking for evidence of nutrient cyling. The guide was really knowledgeable and we saw LOADS of plants, including a strangler fig, the famous walking palm (that can move 2 – 5 cm/y) some saddlebacked tamarinds, army ants, leaf cutter ants, a bullet ant (so called because it’s bite is supposed to be as painful as being shot) and many tracks, such as ocelot, peckaries, armadillo, paca and coati. We also found and tasted termites. The sheer number of different species here is staggering!

Walking palm

Lunch was excellent, yet more tasty traditional peruvian food. The lodge displays the menu including the ingrediants, history of the dish and full instructions for making it. I may copy one or two out before I go! There had been enough time before lunch to have a shower (cold but very welcome) and a small nap on one of the hammocks! During lunch we saw 2 dusky titi monkeys in the trees outside the dining room. It’s not everyday that you get to watch wild monkeys while you eat. At the end of lunch we were visited by a cappuchin monkey eating fruit from the trees on the edge of the clearing. 3 species of monkey by lunchtime – great! After lunch there was just enough time to get back into my muddy clothes before going back out intot he forest to take a transect (or rather to watch the kids do it!)

Cappuchin monkey

I am loving it here, totally shattered, but such a nice change from the city!

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