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Winter holidays Day 2 – Puma Rinri Lodge and surrounds

July 24, 2012

I woke up at about 6 to see the sun rise over the mountian through the fog that was hanging over the trees. It was a spookily different place! I then went back to bed for 2 hours and then got up for breakfast! It was standard Peruvian breakfast – eggs, bread, cheese, meat, coffee, yoghurt and cereal. Not necessarily in that order. I then went and got my bag contianing repellent, a towl, my camera and binoculars and water (and because I’m me, my head torch just in case). My guide, 2 other tourists from Lima and me got in the car, drove for 10 min to the start of the trail and then walked for about an hour, through the forest, to a waterfall. The waterfall was ‘owned’ by the nearest town and the lodge pay a concession each month to be allowed to use it. They are the only people around there that do – everyone else goes to the slightly bigger and better serviced waterfalls further along the road. That meant that we had the place completely to ourselves! It was beautiful. The rainforest has obviously been overused (the guide made overtures to the times of narcotraffickers and terrorism) at some point and has only just been protected so there is still virtually no large wildlife. There were plenty of birds around and we did see bullet ants en-route. There is one area that obviously used to be farmed and you can still see rows of pineapple and coca bushes (although there isn’t really enough altitude for them there!).

 

The waterfall is absolutely beautiful and the pool underneath (helped into existence by a bit of dam building by the locals) has a sandy bottom and at about 1030 when we got there was about half in and half out of the sun. They have built a small screen for those people who are shy about changing in front of others (I had put my bathers on under my clothes and just got dressed over the top when it was time to go – I was more or less dry by the time we got back to the car!). I spent about half an hour in the pool floating peacefully looking at the butterflies fluttering by or standing under the waterfall bemused by the rainbows I could see dancing around me as the water moved. We then walked back. We arrived back at the lodge at about 12.30 just in time to change clothes before lunch. Another odd, yet tasty meal. A Salad of lettuce, cheese, avocado, boiled egg and a delicious onion chutney type thing and fish (from the lodge’s own fish pools!) patacones (fried banana slices) and plain rice. Pudding was 3 sorbets made from local fruit – grape, cocona and maracuya. It was very nice.

 

There is a chef from Lima in the lodge at the moment trying to teach the cooks there how to present the dishes properly and suggesting more interesting meals that they can make with their local ingredients. It seems that the lodge has listened to the reviews on the internet and is trying to improve. The reason she is here NOW is that they are designing the new kitchen and the owner of the lodges was there along with the architect, to work on the plans with her making suggestions.

 

I then had an hour or so to rest before setting off on a boat on the river to look for wildlfe (of which there was very little – some egrets, a heron, a skimmer and some cows) and find a nice beach from which we could have a swim. It was very pleasant floating in the water, letting the current carry me a little and chatting with the guide.

 

We went back to the lodge where I had a shower and watched the sun set before reading a little. A different cook (I obviously scared the first one!) came and asked me what I wanted for dinner. I opted for ‘chuleta’ (chops) and ended up with another salad (lettuce and carrot with a peppery dressing), a chop of probably pork that was cooked really nicely and still juicy, served with rice cakes and yucca. Pudding was ice cream! I sat and chatted to the Lima chef woman for an hour or so about travelling, being unmarried and without children at 32, men and life in general (I actually did very little talking – I’m not sure she’d spoken to anyone for about a week!) and then went to my room to pack. I leave tomorrow for Gocta at 0730 am so I have to be ready for breakfast at 0700. The owner of the lodges is going back to Gocta tomorrow so he is going to drive me there rather than me getting the bus/taxi from Taropoto. I’m glad about this as it’s an 8 hour journey and I didn’t really want to do it in a collectivo! He’s said well stop off at the orquidario in Moyabamba too, even though it’s out of season, which is great!

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