Next stop, Taricaya Conservation Lodge in the Amazon jungle! In 2009 I spent a month volunteering here here so I couldn’t wait to return this time with Josh.
We caught an hour long long-boat to the lodge hidden deep in the jungle along the Rio Madre De Dios
Arriving at the lodge, it was time to meet and greet the
volunteers mosquitos, wasps, ants, bees and all the other lovely creatures. And of course it was time to get working! Our first morning job was feeding the animals.
Taricaya takes in animals who are in need of care and rehabilitation with the ultimate aim of releasing them back into the wild. But for now, nothing beats a cuddle with these cheeky little things!
These baby spider monkeys all have their own story of why they are here e.g. Kept as pet and seriously malnourished, lost their mother etc. it was great to see that many of the spider monkeys that were there in 2009 had since been released and are now living free and wild.
Feel the love?
Now this little fellow, 1 month old Theo, is the newest member to the Tarikaya Tapir family. He is the cutest, oddest looking creature on earth!
We had fun cleaning out the tapir poo pool (on Josh’s birthday)
One of the afternoon jobs at the new farm near the lodge is feeding the turtles which have been bred in protected area at the lodge to prevent hunters poaching the eggs to all in town. This project has been so successful and it was great seeing all the beautiful turtles! Here we are preparing their food which consists of extremely finely cut spinach, cabbage, carrots and chicken liver. We were sweating buckets here!
But the turtles of all sizes enjoyed their meal
And in return, we enjoyed playing 🙂
Another activity was animal enrichment where we made paper mâché snakes and filled them with meat for the cats to practice their hunting. Loved seeing josh being creative 😉
Now in Tarikaya you feel as though you are taking risks all the time. Climbing the new animal enclosure (no adequate ladder of course) to continue on with the building is just one example. I never quite made it up…
A few hours of machetting in crazy humidity takes it out of you!
But other projects like butterfly catching and releasing are a bit more chilled
As is picking mangoes that have fallen off the trees near the hammocks and devouring them… Knife not even necessary!
Where ever you go here, there are animals! This man paid us a visit in the dining room.
And Trumpy enjoys his regular tickle under his chin by the hammocks
Other birds require binoculars and a 45m rickety canopy platform to be sighted.
My favourite thing to do in the jungle is just to walk, listen to the sounds of the forest an enjoy the serenity.
Night time in the jungle involved many games of cards
And an awesome cayman catching session on the long boat with Stuart. He first gave us a talk about the creatures which are part of the crocodilian family and then we set out in silence and darkness on the long boat where he spotted, pounced and caught a cayman, showed us and released it.
Finally, Josh got to play his long awaited soccer! Peruvians verse volunteers for a large coke. Peruvians won 10-9.
And last but not least we celebrated a very special milestone in the jungle, Josh turned 25! Yummy dinner (home cooked food was well received by us)
And then cake time…
Followed by machetting the piñata 🙂
A birthday spent in the Amazon jungle, not bad ay?
I just love this boy!
Plane is now taking off to Lima where we are super excited to scrub up, wear clean clothes, no insect repellant, use a dry, fresh towel and enjoy the city for 2 days before heading up to Colombia! Let the adventures continue…
Check out our Travel Page for more of our adventures!