Jumba Lake

Trip Start May 03, 2005
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Trip End Oct 31, 2005


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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hoi!

After spending 5 days on the river from Iquitos (Peru) to Manaus (Brasil), I headed straight to the jungle. At first I was a little concerned as I went with a Swiss guy I had met on the boat and 2 German guys and a Brasilian guy who was living in Germany were on our tour and they were speaking in German a lot of the time. I was glad that Iīd brought my book the first day. Thankfully I think they realised how rude they were being (the problem was that the Brasilian didnīt speak english and the other 2 werenīt confident with their english). I ended up speaking to the Brasilian in spanish and the others in the english. It all came out in the wash but took a little bit of adjusting.

Had a great time - the guide caught a caiman and an anaconda (the first time that he had managed to catch an anaconda). We also went fishing for piranha (I threw the little one that I caught back into the water, which they all found really odd). It was quite freaky to think that we had been swimming in the same water but were assured that it was perfectly safe - yeah right! Thankfully the caiman only come out at night and seemly piranha only bite if you are leaking blood. Well, I very nearly was after the number of mosquito bites that I got - the gits even bit the soles of my feet and the palms of my hands. I never knew that scratching could be so satisfying, even though it is the worst possible thing to do.

The Jumba Lake where we stayed is basically flooded rainforest - it was pretty special manoeuvering around trees in the water. Right in front of the lodge there was a constant presence of grey dolphin (only about 1.5 metres long) and the occasional pink dolphin. I didnīt get a good look at the pink dolphin but saw a photo - it looks like a dinasaur and really not as pretty as the ones we are most familiar with). We also picked our own limes, pineapples and an odd root (I canīt remember the name) that we made flour out of and the cook made pancakes with for our breakfast. The guys went hunting for caiman on the third night (I didnīt partake) and ate it for lunch and dinner the next day. I told them I didnīt want to hear the details. On the last day they all had a trophy of caiman teeth to make into necklaces when they get home. Delightful, eh? They also got to taste the piranha that they had caught.

On the way back from picking our pineapples and our odd root I had a bit of an accident - I was up front and was walking along a tree log to get to the boat when I slipped and slammed my thigh into the head of the boat (there had been heavy rain earlier in the day). I have never known pain like it in my life but was relieved that it wasnīt broken. There were a few expletives that left my mouth, Iīll tell you. It has taken a few days for the bruising to come out and is still rather painful but thankfully havenīt had to do too much walking since. Iīm actually rather disappointed with the bruises - they really donīt look bad enough!!! Needless to say Iīm not going to be rushing to get into a swimsuit here in Rio - what with red lumps all over my body and a huge bruise on my thigh, I have to say that Iīm looking pretty gorgeous right now - NOT! That, on top of my casper the ghost skin, may be just a little too much for the Brasilians to handle.

Promise to get some photos this week - I know Iīve been slacking recently!
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