Vlog by Jules: see below.
Wake up at 4am. Breakfast at 4:30am. We leave at 5am, by boat. Today we go to another lodge from Rainforest Expeditions. It’s the lodge that is the furthest away from Puerto Maldonado (7 hours by boat).
We stop at a lake, to try to spot wildlife.
We walk 30′ to the lake, where we take another boat (without engine).
We see hoatzin bird (with chick), a black caiman and even some (endangered) giant otters (5), swimming and fishing.
We stop to fish piranhas. Jules gets one (he’s the only one from the family).
We embark on another boat for our 6-hour trip to Tambopata Research Center (TRC).
It’s a nice trip, which takes less time than announced: 5 hours.
On the way, Christian shows us 2 capybaras (the largest living rodent in the world) and a few turtles.
We stop at Chuncho clay lick, which is very well known as the best spot to see macaws. As per the Lonely Planet guide, it’s “where you can see one of the colourful cacophony of feeding macaws for which Tambopata region is renowned”. The macaws (as well as other parrots and the parakeets) come here to get sodium, which they lack in their diet because of their environment: the rain from the Pacific coast hardly reaches this part of the Amazonian basin because it’s stopped by the Andes, thus the rain that they get here comes from the (Brazilian) Atlantic coast, which is far away and hence the rain lost its sodium by the time it reaches here.
There is only one macaw on the clay lick itself. It’s a big disappointment (one of the biggest ones of the world tour for me). On the pictures that we see everywhere of this Tambopata National Reserve, we always see dozens of macaws on the clay lick. Many more macaws are in the trees around the clay lick (and there are also a couple of monkeys). There are very nice (colourful) but quite far away (moreover the light is not good for pictures).
We arrive at the TRC lodge at 1:30pm.
We grab the rest of the lunch buffet (pork chops). We are indeed still a bit hungry because the lunch (on the boat) was not great: a cold cheese omelette with potatoes and red peppers, in a banana leaf like yesterday (but without fork or spoon today).
We hear very loud howls from red howler monkeys. It sounds quite terrifying.
After lunch, we have 2 hours to relax. Our 2 rooms are splendid, especially the parents’ one, with a nice terrace with a bath and an open shower.
At 4:30pm, we go for a walking tour, to a Mirador with a view on the river.
Back to the lodge, we see, among other creatures, a parrot snake, a frog and even a tarantula that Christian tries to lure outside the hole where it is hiding. We are impressed at how Christian manages to spot them in the dark.
Back at the lodge, we have time for a (nice) shower before the 7:20pm dinner. The dinner is very good: nice chicken with rice.
We are in bed at 8:30pm. Tomorrow we have again to wake up before the sunrise…