Author Topic: ˇBienvenido a Perú!  (Read 3061 times)

Offline iluv2travel

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2019, 11:10:53 AM »
Wow! Jaw dropping amazing TR! Incredible trip, will need to add to my bucket list (which is getting to be quite long)

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2019, 12:09:46 PM »
Wow! Jaw dropping amazing TR! Incredible trip, will need to add to my bucket list (which is getting to be quite long)

Thank you!

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2019, 02:16:34 PM »
Sunday:
We got a super early start Sunday morning for our trip to the Amazon. From Cusco airport, we took a flight to Lima. After a short stopover in Lima, we got on a 2-hour flight to Iquitos.
Iquitos, located in the north of Peru, is the largest city in the world that is not accessible by land and is the gateway to the Amazon.
As we were coming in, we saw the actual Amazon River beneath us, and it was quite surreal and a hugely exciting moment. I may or may not have done a jig in my seat.





We landed in the miniscule airport and were immediately assaulted by the thick humidity. Coming from the cool dry air in the Andes, this was quite an abrupt change.
There are a couple of ways to experience the Amazon, jungle lodges being the most common. We chose to be a bit more adventurous and chose to stay in a treehouse!
The airport itself is one room. It was quite funny to see them load the luggage, literally through a hole in the wall, and when we walked into the airport, we see it coming out the other side on a conveyor belt.



Our guide from the lodge was waiting at the airport so after dousing ourselves in OFF, we loaded into the van and were off.
Iquitos itself is quite dilapidated and run down. We didn’t spend too much time there, but we enjoyed driving through and seeing the sights.
We had an hour and a half car ride from the airport to the riverside town of Nauta. It should be noted that the time there is ‘Peruvian Time’ and is generally a lot longer than it sounds.
At Nauta, they loaded our luggage on one small boat, and us onto another.   We then had another 90-minute boat to reach our lodge.

Our boats:


By the time we reached the lodge, we had been up since 3:30 AM, had traveled by car, plane, car again, and boat, and were hungry and hot. But our excitement mounted as our boat pulled up.
The Treehouse Lodge is located on the Yarapa River, a tributary of the Amazon River. The treehouses stand tall, the highest being 60 feet off the ground. They come equipped with a toilet, shower, and clean comfortable beds. There is no hot water, and a paltry trickle of water emerges from the showerhead, but it does the trick.
It’s built on and into a tree, so sap is constantly dripping, making it look like someone came and bled on the floor.
There are mosquito nets on the treehouse, and on each bed, so the bugs are not too bad.
There is a central treehouse as well which is used as the dining area, kitchen, and a second floor which is a lounge area.
Our treehouse was the largest one, and it was triple decker treehouse.

Entrance to main 'lobby':














Shower:


Main treehouse / dining room:



We spoke with the kitchen staff about our needs, and then sat with our guide to discuss the next few days.
Every group gets assigned a guide at the beginning of your stay and you craft an itinerary suited to your interests.
Our guide was really knowledgeable and friendly and took care of all our needs throughout the day.

We wanted to do an evening excursion that wouldn’t require too much effort from us, so we settled on, what they call, Nighttime Caiman Spotting.
We went out on a boat and enjoyed the sounds and sights of the jungle wildlife. We used our headlamps to spot different birds and fish.
We then started looking for the red lights that are the caimans’ eyes. We spotted several, but they disappeared as we got close.
Eventually, we slowly brought our boat close, and our guide reached out grabbed a baby caiman with his bare hands, bringing into the boat!
We all took a turn holding it, being sure to keep our hands tight around its mouth so no fingers become dinner. After we had our fill, we let him back into the water unharmed. 




« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 02:43:16 PM by ponash123 »

Offline shwarmabob

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2019, 02:24:55 PM »
wow  ;D

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2019, 02:30:01 PM »


Epic shot!

And that treehouse looks amazing.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2019, 06:00:48 PM »
Epic shot!

Thank you! I was quite proud of it.

And that treehouse looks amazing.
It was definitely a great experience!

Offline iluv2travel

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2019, 11:04:29 PM »
Would have loved to be invited along for this incredible ride! The amount of planning that needs to go into such a trip is mind boggling.

I love love that treehouse!!! Absolutely amazing!

Offline ludmila

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2019, 11:33:24 PM »
Thank you for your time in writing a great TR and nice pictures.Just added this to my bucket list.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
Pele Good,Maradona Better, George Best.

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2019, 04:34:39 PM »
Thank you for your time in writing a great TR and nice pictures.Just added this to my bucket list.

Thank you!

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2019, 03:51:47 PM »
Monday – Tuesday

I will be listing what we did over the next few days in no particular order.
We stayed in the Amazon for 2 nights and 3 days. Between all the travel time, we had less than 3 full days so we packed in whatever we could.
Sleep was minimal in the treehouse sans air conditioning and the HOT jungle weather. We utilized on the fact that we wouldn’t be getting much sleep and woke up really early to get everything we could in.
That being said, going to sleep in the outdoors with the (very loud!) sounds of the jungle surrounding us was an amazing experience.

We had a friendly visitor one night in our treehouse. After the initial sighting, utter panic ensued, as only a bug can induce, much to the amusement of some of us. 
Turns out that he was actually toxic, so a little panic was warranted.




It’s interesting to note that they are currently in the dry season.
It was fascinating to see the water lines on the trees, which highlighted just how much the water had receded since dry season began, which was only about a month earlier.
We saw a difference even over the few days that we were there. The plank that we walked on by the entrance to the treehouse, on the first day, had a lot of water beneath it. By the time we were leaving, it was dry.
You can clearly see in the photo below, where the water was just a few weeks prior.


Monkey Island:
There is a small island not far from the lodge which is home to multiple species of monkeys such as Wooly Monkeys and Coatis. There were a ton of them frolicking in the trees and we loved sitting in the boat watching them.










Piranha Fishing:
We had a great time fishing for piranhas! We caught many, as well as other kinds of fish. We used sticks from a tree and meat - no modern-day fishing rods here!
Our guide stuck his hand in the water freely, attempting to attract the piranhas, which was slightly concerning to us, but he emerged unscathed.
They offer to prepare the fish with your dinner, but since piranhas are not kosher, we threw them back in.
We did catch some fish that were kosher. We brought them back with us, gutted them, and cooked them up. They were quite good!





The cooked piranhas:


Our catches-turned-dinner!
 


We walked on the canopies of the treehouses, which was a really interesting way to get to see the rainforest from 60 feet above.   I have pity on those poor hotel employees that need to shlep all that luggage though.






Nighttime Jungle Walk:
We booted up and headed out on a night walk through the jungle. This was a buggy affair and some of us enjoyed a bit less than others  :)
We were wearing headlamps or holding flashlights which attracted an unearthly number of bugs. An Israeli treehouse neighbor of ours, took to walking around with a mesh laundry bag on his head!
We saw lots of insects, frogs etc.  Our guide stuck his hand into a termite mound, smushed up some termites in his hand, and proceeded to smear it all over himself. He claimed it acts as mosquito repellent.
The guide cleared a path with a machete as we walked and yelled out warnings not to touch certain trees for fear of fire ants and such.
Pictures are minimal since both hands were spent swatting away bugs at all times. 






This sloth, Pablo, was adopted by a local family. He was super cute and cuddly.





The water lilies we saw were beautiful:










We visited a local village, which was a really interested peek into their life. They do not pay taxes, live on their own, and are almost entirely self-sufficient. We spoke to some of them and bought some trinkets that they were selling.

















DSC01412 by Flower R, on Flickr

This building acts as a sort of ‘jail’. They place drunk or disorderly people here, kind of in a time out.





We went out to spot and swim with some pink dolphins. We did see a few of them, which was amazing, but they were difficult to photograph.
Glimpses of the dolphins. Over here you can see the pink color:






Sunset on the Amazon was spectacular.

 










Incidentally, we woke up at 4:30 AM our last morning to view sunrise on the river as well, but alas, it was quite foggy, and we saw nothing.
Our would-be sunrise:



We had a really fun workshop in which we made blowguns and darts from scratch.

 






Scenes from the Amazon:











Water lettuce:


Amazon -> Natua -> Iquitos -> Lima -> NY

Tuesday afternoon we began the long journey home, beginning with the boat ride from The Treehouse to Natua town. At that point, we got into a van and began the drive to Iquitos.
Our guide had mentioned something about us needing to ‘make transfer’. We weren’t entirely sure what he was saying, so we sort of ignored him, but we were in a bit of rush, as we needed to catch our flight.
It was our group in the van, along with 2 Israeli couples that we had befriended at The Treehouse. We were having a grand time schmoozing, when suddenly, about half hour from Iquitos, we come to a halt.

In front of us, on the only road in the city, lay a giant crater with lots of men milling about. The meaning of ‘make transfer’ became clear to us, as there was no way to pass.

We got out of the car and the men begin gesturing to us to walk. We started dumbfounded. Where, pray tell, should we be walking? Why through the crater of course!
We began walking, in the mud, through the holes, through the leering crowds. It seemed as if the entire city had turned out for this entertaining affair, and people were selling food and trinkets on the side of the road.
A few local kids grabbed our luggage, two 50lbs suitcases each, and proceeded to pile them on their heads, and begin marching with us.
Slowly we made our way across where there was another van waiting for us. Eventually we got all loaded back up again and were on our way.
It was highly amusing (though slightly stressful due to our impending flight).








We made it to the airport with just enough time to spare and boarded our flight to Lima.

Originally, our flight to Lima was supposed to be a couple of hours later. Latam, being the lovely airlines that they are, had cancelled our flight several weeks prior. We rebooked on an earlier flight, but this left us with a couple of hours to kill in Lima.

Being that it was nighttime and there’s not much to do, we decided to go out to eat, even though it was a 40-minute drive from the airport.
We had eaten our last Pomegranate meals in Iquitos airport, but it hadn’t heated up very well and was not very good.
We went to Bobe’s Kitchen in Lima, which was an amazing experience, and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through. The décor is absolutely beautiful, and everything is sparkling clean.
The owner himself was there and took us on a tour of their many kitchens. They alternate meat and dairy nights, so they have separate kitchens, as well as a chocolate kitchen.

We were there on a dairy night and being that we had already eaten some of our fleishig Pomegranate meals, we got all parve meals. The food blew us away.
Everything we got was incredibly delicious, fresh, and appealing.  (I am unsure if the dairy food is Cholov Yisroel or not).






After enjoying our meal, we made our way back to the airport, where we boarded our flight to NY.

We enjoyed every aspect of our trip, from the Sacred Valley to the Amazon, and would highly recommend Peru as a destination.
Let me know if you have any questions!


 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 04:04:26 PM by ponash123 »

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2019, 05:13:07 PM »
Awesome TR!

Also, there are a couple different types of piranha in the Amazon, most of which actually are kosher (and it's obviously easy enough to check yourself).
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2019, 05:18:15 PM »
Awesome TR!

Also, there are a couple different types of piranha in the Amazon, most of which actually are kosher (and it's obviously easy enough to check yourself).

Interesting!

Offline sam28

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2019, 12:54:39 PM »
Thanks for the Amazing TR and pictures and I like all the details

Offline ponash123

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2019, 02:32:03 PM »
Thanks for the Amazing TR and pictures and I like all the details

Thank you!

Offline EliJelly

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Re: ˇBienvenido a Perú!
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2019, 11:28:55 PM »
Wow!! Just wow!!  You really took us along on this epic journey! I go nuts for the tree house hotel.. what is the name of it, can it be booked with points?..