Thursday, April 28, 2011
Peru - Day 12 Part I - Ceiba Tops Canopy Walkway
This morning we are traveling to the Ceiba Tops Canopy Walkway which is one of the main highlights of our visit to the Amazon region. We started at the crack of dawn because we had to travel a fair distance to get to the walkway. The boat ride was 90 minutes to the Explorama Resort located by the walkway. Along the way, we picked up a couple of other people staying at yet another Explorama Resort.
We had breakfast at the resort before heading out to the walkway.
The walkway is another 45 minutes of walking time through the jungle so off we went.
As is always the case, Paul is on the lookout for animals and plants to show us.
This was a difficult walk. Paul provided poles so we could keep our balance as we walked over the rough terrain.
The walkways are nothing more than aluminum extension ladders with 2 x 10 boards on them with netting on the sides and all of this is hung from steel cables attached to the trees. It is substantial enough to support a number of people but it is pretty shaky as you walk from platform to platform. The walkway uses the Ceiba trees for support because they are strong and taller than any other vegetation in the jungle. A Ceiba tree can grow to more then 200 feet in height. The walkways are from 75 to 115 feet above the jungle floor. The walkways were originally built by scientist to study the life forms at the top of the jungle canopy. Now they are exclusively a tourist attraction.
Are you sure it's safe?
I think I did more climbing on this trip than any time in my life. Despite the fact that we eat three good meals a day (with deserts), I lost 10 lbs in the two weeks we were on this trip. In this photo, I am just getting up to the walkway. My shirt is already drenched from the jungle walk.
It is a unique view from the tree tops. Paul was able to spot a few interesting birds while we walked.
I preferred to view the jungle from the platforms between walkway segments.
The walkway was 1/3 of a mile long. Speaking only for myself, once I had a chance to see the jungle canopy from the walkway and the newness of the experience wore off, the walkways became more of an obstacle course than anything else and the goal was to just get from one platform to another so you could get down.
This is not a place for people who have a fear of heights or get motion sickness.
Paul had great news.....the river had risen to the point that we could take a small boat back to the resort building rather than walking the same 45 minutes back through the jungle. Of course, we had to walk nearly 15 minutes to get to the boat.