Our second and third night cabins were located even further into Manu National Park. We drove for another half-day and then took a boat to get us most of the way. From the river (a tributary of the Amazon river); we could see our cabins perched up on the hill. We had a beautiful sun-set the first evening.
Here we are all loaded into the boat; ready to go.
The river was soooo relaxing. I could have fallen asleep….but it was only a 30 minute ride.
The following day involved more hiking and a raft ride. We moved slowly through Ox-Bow lake on these rafts just watching the bird and animal life along the way. It was totally silent….with only the sounds of nature surrounding us and the soft ‘wishhh’ of the pole moving us along.
Lush jungle we hiked through. We didn’t get to see much animal life. The entire jungle seemed to be sleeping except the occasional bird. There were tons of leaf-cutter ants and army ants. These marched through the jungle carrying on their duties seemingly without a care. I tried to get photo’s but they were moving so quickly that all I ended up with was a blur.
Teresa and I getting ready to board the raft at Ox-Bow lake.
Below is our cook for the tour. She was wonderful! After being ship-wrecked (which I will tell you about shortly); Teresa and I decided to take day #3 and stay at the cabins and rest and relax while the rest of the group went out for yet another hike. We expected bread and jam for breakfast and the cook surprised us with pancakes!!
On day two; we took off into the rain-forest after a short river ride. We walked the jungle for several hours all prepped with wading boots, bug and sun repellant. We took a pretty slow and relaxing pace….until our guide came to the realization that dark was quickly approaching. At this point, his speed increased to a near jog. As we raced out of the jungle attempting to beat the dark; the guide didn’t even notice that I was lagging behind. Those that know me, know that I have a mild disability due to a foot that has recently had multiple surgeries. Shoes are difficult for me to fit and I was wearing wading boots of which one was about two sizes too large for me and the other nearly too tight. I WAS NOT GOING TO RUN THROUGH THE FOREST. The faster the guide went the more determined I was to take my time….I was not going to risk twisting my ankle; rather I would be lost in the forest alone for the night. Ok, writing that; it really doesn’t make sense but that was how I felt at the time.
So we made if out of the forest and back to the boat just as it was reaching full darkness. Armed with our headlamps we all boarded the boat. The boat driver looked mildly unhappy. We were hurried onto the boat and began our trip toward the cabins.
As we approached the cabin landing…something went wrong. Not understanding any Spanish; I can’t relay the full details. My take on the situation is that we somehow in the darkness, we missed the landing and due to the strong current could not get back to it. The boat went back and forth for about an hour nearly hitting a nearby rocky island in the center of the river on multiple occasions. Finally, we landed on the island and were told to disembark the boat. WHAT? There is nothing here? Are there camins? I am NOT walking across the river!?
The five of us stood on the lonely island with our headlamps (well mine, anyway) searching the surrounding for as we waited for the boat to find a way to get us across the river to safety.
After about an hour on the island, and two boats assistance…they found a way to rescue us from the island and get us safely back on the mainland to our cozy cabin oasis.
Thankful to Teresa for earlier preparations….we had plenty of coca leaves and wine to celebrate the rescue.
I can now say that I have been ship-wrecked; stranded on a deserted island and SURVIVED!!