The day after we arrived back in Cuzco from Machu Picchu we took a flight to the Amazon Jungle (Puerto Maldonado) in the north of Peru. The flight was only 35 minutes, then there was a an hour long bus ride and a two hour boat ride before we arrived at the jungle lodges where we were staying.

On the boat we saw white caimans, macaws and these huge rodents which I can’t remember the name of. I was calling them ROUSs – Rodents Of Unusual Size for those of you playing at home (a Princess Bride joke – oh yeah!). Apparently they ae the biggest rodents in the world, although I swear I´ve seen bigger ones in Dad´s garage!

In the evening we went for a walk in the junge to try and spot the many insects and other creatures that come out at night. We saw a tarantula that was bigger than my hand!

We then played a game where we were split up and we had to wait 10 minutes in the dark by ourselves until one of the other group members came to get you. It was a bit nerve wracking being in the pitch black but quite exhilarating. You could hear so many different types of animals and you could see fire flys flickering around which were mesmerising.

The next day we went for a hike into the forest where we saw wild boars, howler monkeys and heaps of different species of insects and plants. We also went canoeing around a lake in the forest and did some piranha fishing which was awesome!

Will playing George of the Jungle

Looks remarkably like Will doesn´t he?

After walking back to the lodges we were all pretty hot and bothered so our guide said that if we wanted to go swimming to be down at the pier 4pm and a boat would pick us up and take us to the other side of the river where we could swim. Now we’d been told that there were white caimans in the river but that they were shy and wouldn’t go near humans so we felt pretty safe. We arrived at the pier but the boat didn’t come so Joey and I decided that we’d swim across. It was probably about 70 metres and it wasn’t flowing very quickly. We both made it across ok and then when Will was half way across the boat showed up and nearly ran him over!

We were all pretty excited that we’d been swimming in the Amazon, that was until that evening when we went out caiman spotting (their eyes glow red in the dark) and we spotted a huge black caiman right near the pier where we’d been swimming! We all remembered the guide clearly telling us that there were no black caimans in the river (they are really aggressive and would happily attack humans), and yet here was one metres from where we’d be swimming hours earlier! I think we were a bit shaken up but were still glad that we’d swam in the Amazon!

The black caiman right near where we swam!

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