Today we began our 6 day tour of the Amazon jungle. It felt like we had all been waiting for this for so long, so we were all really excited. We were picked up at 8am and driven to the river, where we had to get a boat to cross.
I’d like to add that most of the morning it had been raining, so it was a pretty wet ride. However, we got to see the meeting of the rivers.
The two rivers don’t mix because of the acidity of the water and the temperature. We drove the boat through and you could literally feel the temperature difference between the two!
When we reached the other side we had a two hour minibus journey to another part of the river before we got to the lodge. The minibus ride was literally like a rollercoaster, we were slipping everywhere, luckily our driver was completely controlled and got us there safely!
The next leg was another boat to the lodge. As you can see there were some pretty dark clouds circling.
And the heavens opened to drench us…
Eventually we made it to the lodge, just in time for lunch. And the rain even stopped!
Our room for the next few days.
Now the rain had cleared, the afternoon plan was to go piranha fishing! Annabel and I were pretty confident this time around after our practice in Pantanal. However, it was a completely different ball game here – well for at least. I was rubbish! I did get two fish, but it took a lot longer than before.
Vicky caught the biggest piranha of the day.
And even went one above and caught a dog fish…
Annabel took the crown, catching 6 piranha’s!
After piranha fishing, we headed down the river to spot some dolphins. There we so many, but unfortunately I just wasn’t quick enough to catch them on camera! We finished off the evening by catching the sunset.
After dinner, we headed out in the boat in the dark to do some caiman spotting (after drenching myself in mosquito repellent). Our guide actually managed to catch one out of the water so we could all have a closer look! I stupidly didn’t bring my camera though, however, more of this to come later.
I ended the day by escaping under my mosquito net to avoid the bites… it didn’t work.
We started off the day by being woken at 5:30am, to see if we wanted to get up for the sunrise… however, it was pretty cloudy so we decided to pass and go on a better day! When we eventually got up we headed into the jungle for a hike. Even though it was really early still it was already boiling hot!
We saw loads of different trees and plants that can be used for different purposes, for example, one you could soak the bark in water and it would act as an anti-malarial. Also, trees for monkeys to sleep in…
There were even trees that’s bark was used as a contraceptive! It was amazing how much different plants could be used for. We could even use some of the vines to make bracelets.
But one of the most frightening things we saw the whole hike was this…
Absolutely huge tarantula!!! Our guide managed to lure it out of its hole in a tree and then flicked it at us! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life. This particular tarantula was a female one.
Honestly, just horrible.
Another creature we found in the jungle was this lavae, which was inside it’s cocoon. Once out of the cocoon it becomes a butterfly.
Apparently it is very high in protein if you eat it… so Annabel did. Rather her than me. I also pulled out my best jungle skills… as you can see below
In the afternoon we did a slightly different type of fishing, with a long line, to catch a different type of fish.
We also caught the sunset again, which was much less cloudy than the day before.
More practicing of my arty photo skills.
Once it got dark, we headed back out to do some spear fishing! But first, our guide caught another caiman as I actually had my camera this time!
We all got to hold it as well.. Can you tell how terrified we are??
Once we released the caiman, we got back to spear fishing. Each of us had a go… Annabel and I were pretty useless, but Vicky actually managed to catch one!
But our guide, the pro, got the biggest fish.
This morning we actually managed to drag ourselves out of bed to catch the sunrise. We woke up about 5:30am, quickly got ready and headed out in the boat.
The sunrise was so beautiful, definitely worth getting up at 5:30 for!
Once the sun had risen we headed back to the lodge for some breakfast.
After some breakfast we went for a hike in the flooded forest, to try and spot some sloths! We had all been really keen to see one on this trip so our hopes were high. We were wandering around for a while, and it was starting to look like we weren’t going to see one, when suddenly our guide spotted one! He even managed to get it down from the tree so we could all have a proper look.
And Vicky managed to snap this great shot! Look how cute he is!
He was so funny and chilled, and didn’t move the entire time until he climbed back up his tree. So a very successful morning.
The afternoon consisted of getting our stuff together as this evening the plan was for us to camp in the jungle! We grabbed our stuff and headed off, luckily the first night we were staying in a camp that was already built.
We strung up our hammocks and mosquito nets for the evening.
And got a fire going to cook our dinner for that evening.
We even had the ingredients to make some caipirinha’s!
The rest of the evening just consisted of waiting for dinner and being eaten alive by mosquitos. I was absolutely covered in bites, despite having sprayed so much repellent. I even got bitten through my hammock and my trousers… not fun.
After a pretty restless night, we woke up in the jungle ready to start our second day away from the lodge. After breakfast the plan was to head to a new location further in the jungle and build our own camp.
Firstly, we laid out some fishing nets to catch our lunch/dinner.
The guides scouted out a good site, and we started to construct our camp. And when I say “we” I mean, the girls sat and watched the boys constructing the camp. It involved cutting down trees to make a sort of frame in which we could hang the hammocks from.
We covered the frame with some plastic to shelter us from the rain.
We strung up our hammocks and then headed out to check for some fish.
Unfortunately, we didn’t catch many fish in the net so we had to do some piranha fishing to bulk out our meals.
Just as we finished our fishing, the heavens opened and we were caught in a huge storm. Luckily we got to test the sturdiness of our camp, which held up pretty well, as we covered underneath. We ended up waiting about an hour for the rain to pass and had to keep an eye out for falling trees – not fun.
Our dinner for the evening.
The evening was much better with regards to mosquitos, I didn’t feel like I was getting bitten so much, which was nice, and actually managed to get an alright night’s sleep.
After being woken up by howler monkeys at about 7am, we started our last full day in the Amazon. We headed back to the lodge for some breakfast, and then headed to a local community to have a look round.
There were lots of different plants around used to make different food and products for the local community.
We tried this weird fruit (?) that tasted like sugar
And found the local school and meeting area.
It was nice to have a look round the local community and see a different way that people live. In the evening we also headed out to a different local family to stay the night with them. Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera, so no pictures!
While we were there we were invited to go to a party in the jungle! It was basically like a village hall, with live music and everyone was dancing. We all had a go at dancing – I was awful of course, but it was good fun! And definitely a cool thing to say you’ve done!
Today was our final day in the jungle. As we were leaving around midday, by the time we had got back from the local family and packed up everything we just had time for lunch before heading off. We’d all had such an amazing time, and I would strongly recommend to anyone travelling to Brazil!