Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Went to Lost...

On Wednesday morning, my house mate, Dan, and I decided to walk to the Sacsayhuman ruins that overlook Cuzco. Sacsayhuman was the site of Inti Raymi but when we went that time we didn´t have any time to walk around and explore.

The walk to the ruins took about an hour and was uphill the whole way. I´ll be glad to be home and not have to climb hills and stairs all of the time! The Incans must have been very fit.
You can tell how big the stones are compared to the people.
El Cristo Blanco or the White Christ. This statue overlooks the city and is absolutely gorgeous at night when it is all lit up.

On Thursday, Katie and I left for a three day, two night trip to the jungle. We were supossed to fly out of Cuzco at 10:10 but while we were waiting at our gate the flight was cancelled. We had no idea what to do and tried to contact our travel agency. While we were attempting to make phone calls, Jonathon, the main worker at the agency, found us at the airport and helped us get on a new flight. We had to wait in line for over an hour (the whole time being told that all flightson Thursday and Friday were full) but when we reached the ticket counter we got on the next flight without any problem.
We were met at the airport by people from EcoAmazonia Lodge and took the back roads around Puerto Maladondo. On Wednesday, there had been a nation wide strike in Cuzco and it had gotten out of hand in Puerto Maladondo. Rumor is that the citizens in PM had burned down all of the governmental buildings in the city and that the strike was continuing on Thursday. Regardless, we felt safe.

Back roads by Puerto Maladondo. The actual city isn´t very nice.

The boat ride to the Lodge took two hours along the Madre de Dios River. It was very pretty and it was nice to be surronded by green again. When we arrived at the lodge we were given lunch, which was chicken and rice cooked and wrapped in a huge leaf. After lunch we had a short time to settle in before heading out to Monkey Island.

Katie and me before going to Monkey Island.

A monkey!

We hiked around Monkey Island for awhile seeing three different types of monkeys, which was probably the highlight of the trip. When we finished our hike we ended up on a beach which made me feel at home. We were able to catch the sunset over the river which was absolutely gorgeous.

After Monkey Island, we had a little time to relax in our bungalow before we had to go caiman hunting. Caimans are like small alligators and they are very common in the area we were in. We didn´t find many that night but it was cool being on the river at night and being able to look at the stars. After caiman hunting we had supper and then Katie and I turned in for an early night.

The Bungalows

Friday morning we had to wake up bright and early at 5:00 in order to have breakfast at 5:30 and leave for our hike at 6:00. The hike consisted of 1 km of hiking, followed by 3 km of canoeing, then another 1 km of hiking. We then took a boat ride around a small lake and then hiked 6 km back to where the boat dropped us off.

The path. During the first hour of the hike all I could think was ¨I´m on Lost!¨

Our boats for crossing the marsh.

Around the halfway point of the hike we climbed to the top of a tree in order to see above the canopy.

After our break at the canopy we crossed a 700 meter long bridge to get to the Lost Lake. At the Lost Lake, our guide paddled us around and pointed out different wildlife, like turtles, caimans, macaws, and other birds. Part of our group even saw a black anaconda!

A caiman

A turtle with a bird on its back

When we returned back from the hike we had lunch and then Katie and I went swimming for awhile. After our swim we were exhausted so we both took naps and then met up with some other volunteers from Cuzco in the game room. After supper we decided to take it easy and relaxed in our bungalow. I ended up falling asleep in the hammack on our porch listening the animal noises.

Saturday morning, we had to wake up at 6:00 in order to be ready to leave at 7:00. We had a two hour boat ride back to Puerto Maldanodo and then we had a few hours to kill at the airport. Our flight back to Cuzco was delayed forty minutes but we finally made it home!

Me and Katie outside of our bungalow

The view from our porch

The smoke monster is coming... (that´s a Lost reference)


Becky said...

If Sawyer is in your bungalow, make sure he walks out the door before you do, otherwise you might become one of the nameless tailees that drops dead. :)

Sounds like you had a great weekend!! Our friends are heading over to my empty household tonight for a little campfire/goodbye party for me before I leave for TZ on Monday!!!! I'll see you when I get back! Love you!

Caitlin said...

beautiful pictures!!

watch out for any hostiles.