12.05.2008 30 °C
(Please note it takes ages to downlad photos on this blog so we will be adding more photos to enrties on after we have posted them)
From Manaus we ventured into the jungle overnight. We reached our jungle camp by a 3 hour bus journey then motor boat. The camp was made entirely from wood, no electricity and employs only local people. As it's the rainy season there was only us and 1 German traveller staying there. This meant that we had the luxury of our own guide. During rainy season the water level is 7-8 meters higher than in the dry season. This means that the trees are either underwater or just their tops are out. We took a canoe through the canopy of the flooded forest, which in some places so dense that our boat only just made it through. We saw cappuchin monkeys and caimen, but this was nothing to the excitement of Antonio, our guide, to the grey squirrel we saw! On the way back from the forest, it rained jungle style i.e. hard and long. There was a wall of rain behind us on the water approaching faster than we could row away until inevitably we got drenched.
At night we went out again by canoe alligator spotting. They find the alligators by the red reflected by the eyes from a tourch beam. Our guide was able to find a baby alligator in the pitch dark at 100 meters and even managed to scoop it up into our boat so that we could see it up close.
The following day we went for a long trek into the jungle and were shown, Ray Mears style, the medicinal uses of all the plants. There's a tree thats sap smells like vicks sinex! We got to drink from a vine and even have a go with the machete. There's these ants that if you get them to cover your hand and then rub them in quickly before getting bitten, they act as mosquito repellent. Unfortunately the camera was playing up and Dan had to keep his hand in a bit longer than advisable so has a few small bites! The whole trip was really enjoyable.
We also went to see the meeting of the waters in Manaus, where the black and white rivers meet, but don't mix for 10km. It's really strange and there's even a big difference in temperature.
The next morning we took our first flight which has brought us a few hundred km closer to Peru, but still a few hundred km and 2 sleeper bus journeys away. We hope to make it into Peru sometime this week and will probably head to Cusco as our first stop.