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Arachnophobia

We had an early 5am start today for what turned out to be very busy day. We took the boat about 25 minutes away to Lake Sandoval which is a huge rainforest reserve with a lake in the middle. We walked 5K through the jungle through a very muddy path..thankfully they give everyone full length boots to trek with. The trees are huge! Some of the roots of the trees are taller than me and that's just the roots! The same goes for the leaves of some of the trees..literally taller and wider than me. I feel like we are in "Honey, I shrunk the kids." We scoured the area for anything we could see and came upon some monkeys swinging through the trees, lots of different and creepy insects, butterflies, birds, lizards and flowers. We stopped frequently, and a few times for some snacks, or what I called it "fear factor". We all tried live termites!!, they were crawling around and you had to just pick up a bunch and throw them in, tasted like ginger. Tyler then went on to taste a live slug..he was a champ..although it gave him heartburn oddly enough. I guess there goes our plan of making sure we don't get sick from any food. Tyler is still on antibiotics so he feels immune to everything I guess. We made our way to the lake, then hopped into a canoe and paddled around the lake. We saw 6 giant otters playing and eating fish.. up close and personal..they are the most endangered species in the area, and another caiman. It is hot and humid...not to mention we are in full length pants and long sleeves to keep away the mosquitoes. We walked back along the same path, 5k, through the mud again. The warmer temperatures of the late morning did cause us to lose a bit of the excitement that we started with this morning but nonetheless it's quite the sight to see. We came back to our lodge and napped then headed out to another excursion where we climbed a 120 foot tower to walk through a set of canopy bridges that were hanging at the the top of the trees. Wow, it was high! The hope was that we would be able to see lots of different birds like tucans and parrots but it started pouring rain and they all went into hiding. All we ended up seeing was a sloth from a distance..a really far distance! We aren't even sure exactly that we saw it actually. I know this seems lame but we saw a snail that was the size of my fist! We went out again at night for a walk through the jungle at night with our flashlights. We saw huge tarantulas!! Crazy! We also saw nocturnal monkeys hanging in the trees, preying mantis, and frogs. Lots of bugs that's for sure. The guide then made us separate in the rainforest with 15metres between us and then everyone had to turn off their flashlights to try to gain the energy from the jungle. Holy crap it was scary, you could hear the leaves rustling all around and didn't know if something was going to jump at you. Tyler was scared! I gained lots of energy though for sure. We asked our guide to make a "Big Five" for the rainforest just like for safaris. Here is the list caimans, macaw (parrot), tarantulas, anaconda and jaguar - actually also a 6th...a spider monkey. We'll try to find them all but it's definitely hard to find animals hiding in the jungle.. more so than in Africa actually. Today was a full day!! But of course we had to end it with some Pisco sours! We are going to bed tired today that's for sure.

Posted by tanyatyler 16:33

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