Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Peru - Day 11 Part III - Jungle Walk

After lunch we gather for a walk through the jungle. I thought that the hardest times were behind us now that we were at sea level and didn't have to climb mountains any more. I assumed that the jungle would be flat.......and it is relatively speaking but it is amazing what dozens of little hills can do to someone who isn't in good condition. Our walk through the jungle lasted a full two hours. The ground is very wet and slippery. Every 2-3 feet there is a split log that you try to jump to so you don't get mired in the mud. I was sweating like crazy after just a few minutes in the humid air. We sprayed our clothes with a special insecticide and used heavy duty "Off" with nearly 100 % Deet in it for our exposed skin. All that almost worked. We still got bites all over the place. Thank goodness we got our Yellow Fever and Malaria immunizations!
Paul gave us a few warnings like don't touch anything. There are plants, insects and animals in the jungle that can cause extraordinary pain if you get stung or contact them. As a matter of fact, there are things there that will just outright kill you in short order so you have to be cautious.

A termite nest. We saw lots of them on trees. They eat the trees and the animals eat them.

Paul stopped frequently to point out the plants and insects. So many of the plants have medical applications. The uses for the plants have been known for hundreds of years and applied by the medicine men. Modern science is working hard at studying the plants and finding ways to use them in the modern world. One third of all the worlds species live in the Amazon rain forrest.

The cocoa pod is in the photo below. The seeds in this pod are used for a number of products with the most well known being chocolate.

The top of a very large tree we stopped to admire. The tree was over 200 years old according to Paul.

The massive trunk is covered with vines.

The jungle is dark because of the thick canopy. This was a rare glimpse of the sky.

Paul demonstrated one of Tarzan's favorite means of transportation.

A few in the group just had to try it for themselves.

Off we go again into the deep dark jungle. We had a nice path so machete's were not required.

Colorful tree bark.

One of many bugs that Paul found and gave details on.

A tarantula hole. They are night stalkers so the group will go out later after dark to hunt tarantulas.

Phil and Linda get the award for the "Most Prepared to Jungle Walk" with their head netting. We all needed it badly. Sigrid and I bought some for the next trip.

Monkies in the trees.

Later.....tarantula hunting.

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