Tambopata, Day Two

We got up at 5AM again today. We headed down to the dock motored down the Heath River. After about 15 minutes, we got out of the boat and started hiking down the path with Leon. After getting lost yesterday, it didn’t seem like the best idea, but the path was well-worn.

After walking about 20 minutes, we exited on the edge of a lake. There was a row boat filled with water that Leon proceeded to bail out. We got in, and he slowly paddled us along the river. We saw small caiman poking their eyes and snouts barely above the water. Leon paddled us along the quiet lake in the early morning as the sun rose.

We saw swarming pools of tadpoles stirring up the water. It was teaming with life which surrounded our boat. There were large birds, we asked Leon what kind of birds they were. They were “Big Birds”. We laughed to ourselves.

On the far side of the lake, we saw some howler monkeys whose screeches filled the quiet morning. We toured the lake and finally were back where we started. We exited the rowboat and hiked back to the Heath River. Our boat met us, and back we went to the lodge.

We had lunch.

Late in the afternoon, Leon met us in the huts for our trip to the Pampas. The wind was blowing and Leon wondered if we would have to cancel our trip because of the dangers of trees falling on us, but no such luck. We finally got to the edge of the Pampas after an hour of hiking, and the trail became a path of water and mud. Because Sheri’s boots were so short (only calf-length), she couldn’t walk through the middle of the puddles, so Leon slowly traipsed through the weeds along the edge of the path. It was slow going, but we finally made it to the big tree where they had a lookout platform with a wooden stairway built up to it. The sun was low in the sky, and we just wanted to get back to the lodge, so we took a few pictures and said we were ready to go (before Leon had a chance to relate how they were trying to save the Pampas). We picked our way back through the mud, and finally re-entered the jungle. The light was waning and we were soon ensconced in darkness. Leon took the lead, Sheri behind (trying to ignore the pitch black surroundings, focusing only on the flashlights), and Larry following. It was a fast march back to lodge ignoring the surroundings and darkness that enveloped us.

We finally made it back to the lodge. We left our muddy boots outside our hut, and went inside for a warm shower. We had dinner, more people were arriving, and then we went back to rest. We packed up for our early morning departure to head back to civilization tomorrow!