The day started off with breakfast. I have to say, it was nice not having to get up so early. I could take my time with everything. After breakfast, we met up at the dock for our boat ride to a local organic banana plantation.
The plantation had mostly bananas but also had lemons, papaya, cocao (chocolate beans), oranges, sweet peppers, and many other fruits. They also had some chickens running around. For me, it really wasn’t a highlight from the trip. Unless really fucking hot, humid, and a million bugs is your idea of a highlight. Nothing exciting but did learn about the local fruit. All of us wore our rubber boots and pants, even though it turned out we didn’t need to. It had rained over night so we all figured it was going to be muddy. It wasn’t and my legs were sweating in places I didn’t know I had sweat glands. Actually, I know I don’t have sweat glands in those places but I was sweating from them anyway. There is no need for any sweat glands in the Amazon, your entire body is a big walking one at this point. Today, seemed to be the hottest and most humid day since we had been there. Needless to say, I was so ready to get back to Lima where it will be cooler and there will be some air conditioning. The Amazon has made me more appreciative of those things we take for granted. Plus, all my stuff can dry out and not smell. I think the humidity was about 200%. I will never complain about the humidity in the States again. And if I hear anyone complaining about it, I’m putting them on a direct flight into the Amazon!
When we got back to the hotel, we had about a half hour to change before heading to the Hacienda Concepcion Garden. The garden was a good and relaxing experience. They have ayahuasca, wild banana trees, plants used for numbing purposes, all different kinds of medicinal plants. We also learned about the Brazilian nut trees. The shell is very similar to a coconut, minus the hair, and inside is where the many nuts are located. They fall from the tree starting around October. In January or February, the people go pick them up from the ground and sell them. It’s very labor intensive but they have a grabber stick thing that they use to pick up the shells so they don’t have to bend over all the time. It was definitely a learning experience. Once we head back to the main house, it’s time for lunch. Then it’s off to the lagoon for a nice relaxing boat ride to see more wildlife. Speaking of which, the Amazon actually has red squirrels. The one creature I figured I wouldn’t see in the Amazon and sure as shit, there the little guy was, following me in a tree and eating. I guess those are they’re the ones that are literally, everywhere.
The lagoon was a good ride. We saw the red howler monkey again. There were a lot of a certain kind of bird that I can’t remember what it’s called, but it was really annoying. There were some other birds too but mainly this annoying one. There were also a lot of tad poles. It was a welcomed change of pace from all the walking we had been doing. Just sit in a boat and float for about a hour. Later tonight, we head to the blind at the clay lick to see if we can see some more wildlife.
I saw some little black monkeys playing in the trees next to my cabana. It was pretty awesome to just sit in the cabana, look out the window and have these little guys running past. It was pretty awesome because earlier this day I had meditated with the intent to connect with my surroundings and I realized I was in cabana #7. Good things were starting to happen and I knew it was going to continue well after that day.
The clay lick blind spot was very interesting. We walked quite a ways to get to it but it was a good hike. Definitely got some glutes workout in. It was interesting to be sitting in a netted hut, in complete darkness, in the middle of a jungle. I just closed my eyes and listened. Once again, connecting and becoming one with my surroundings. We never saw any wildlife, but the experience was one of a kind.
We had our final dinner in the Amazon and it was really good. All of the meals have been awesome. I had enjoyed my stay there but was ready to head back to Lima, then onto Cusco, where it’s not so hot and humid. After we ate, we were all walking back to our cabanas when we saw a 2-toed sloth chilling in a tree outside the Eco Center. That thing was huge too. It looked like it was working its way down but was moving much faster than I expected a sloth to move. It was gone the next day. Overall, the Amazon has been pretty amazing. But, on to the next adventures tomorrow.