Got up at 5 AM. I did not sleep very well due to all the jungle noises. Someone came and knocked on the door as our wake up call. There are no phones so the wake up call is someone coming to your door and knocking. After getting dressed, I headed down to get some breakfast. Once I finished, I headed down to the dock for the boat ride to the Amazon walk to Lake Sandoval.
When we got off the boat, after about a 5 minute ride, we had to climb these crazy steep stairs. The stairs come down to the boat and lead up to the start of the trek. Let me just say now, the rubber boots that were provided by the hotel got good use. Mine came almost up to my knees and even that, at times, didn’t seem high enough. We could’ve used some waders. I still ended up getting mud water going down the boot. At least my pant leg soaked it up before it reached my foot. Overall, it was a fun hike. Well, more like sloshing around in a mud bath, but still fun. Along the way, we saw a lot of macaws and learned about some more of the trees that are in the jungle. Before the walk was even partly over, I was pretty dirty. It’s all good in my book. I don’t mind getting down and dirty. I thought it was awesome!
Lake Sandoval was very quiet and peaceful. We saw quite a few different types of birds while floating around. We did see two black caiman along the way. It was pretty relaxing after such a crazy hike.
The walk back to the boat was just as muddy, if not muddier. By this point it became a “Fuck it, I’m already muddy” attitude and I just went for it. Why not? I’m full of mud anyway, what’s a little more going to do? The attitude worked because I got back to the main base pretty quickly. I think I got bit by one mosquito and I was covered in repellent. There always has to be that one asshole in the group and it found me. I don’t know why they liked my ears so much but that’s where they seemed to go.
When I got back to the cabana, I had to take a quick shower before lunch. I needed to rinse that mud and stank off. I also needed to let my clothes try to dry a little bit. Not only were they soaked from the mud, but also my sweat. Sweat, mud, but no tears, thank goodness. And not blood. My shirt felt like I had gone swimming in it. It was so hot and humid I had to put on some shorts for the canopy walk later.
The canopy walk was really cool. There were seven swinging bridges up in the trees. I’m not sure exactly how high up we were but it was a ways up. We didn’t see any animals except for some strange black and red worm looking thing that was eating a cockroach. Yeah, I saw the thing crawling along and pointed it out. Our guide had no clue what it was and the next day we asked him if anyone knew what it was, and they were clueless. This was definitely a fun experience. During the boats rides to and from the walk, I totally zoned out. I think I may have gone into meditation mode or something.
We got back to the hotel and grabbed some lunch. While in the main house eating, a group of about six red howler monkeys decided to pay a visit. They were hanging out in one of the trees next to the dining room. Turns out, they were the 4-4:30 AM wake up call this morning. They aren’t very big monkeys but the sound they make is crazy. You would think King Kong was coming for you.
Tonight is the spider walk/hike. It’s weird, but today on our muddy hike, I realized just how slow time goes when you are in the jungle. The past two days had gone by really slowly but that’s good. It’s amazing how much we’d seen and done in such a short amount of time. It’s been great so far. Although, I do think I lost about 10 pounds just this day. All I do is sweat. Everything gets soaked from the sweat and mixed with the humidity, nothing really dries.
On our night time creep crawler walk, we saw a few but nothing crazy. Saw some beetles (beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice), a couple of spiders, a long skinny orange snake, and that was about it. The spiders were of the larger variety though. One of them was the chicken tarantula with her three babies and the other was a scorpion spider. I think it’s safe to say, my fear of spiders is not as bad as it used to be now. The scorpion spider, with legs and all, was probably the size of a small dinner plate. Not dangerous to humans but nonetheless, I think I’ll stay away from that. I am proud of myself for letting go of all my previous fears of creepy crawlers and just enjoyed the experience of seeing these things in their habitat and not my habitat.
After the walk, we headed back to the main house to get some dinner. The food was amazing. After a long day of walking and hiking, it was good to get some delicious food in the belly. But, it had been a long day that started early so I was ready for bed. The next day was not as early of a day as this one so some well needed sleeping in is hopefully going to be taken advantage of. Sleeping til 7 AM sounds like a blessing at this point!