Today we got to experience the forest from a different perspective. Our first hike on ‘terra firme,’ the land in the Amazon that does not regularly flood, took us to the hanging bridges of the Amazon Park. This private reserve borders the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve and protects a vast tract of land while offering visitors a chance to walk at the canopy level for a glimpse of the most active area in the jungle. In the afternoon, we enjoyed a lecture on the Cucama-Cucamilla, the native people of the area. The beginning of the rainy season finally caught up with us, and in the late afternoon, we witnessed a massive electrical storm that brought a copious downpour of rain. An incredible show that we observed from the open bar on the top deck with some delicious pisco sours in hand!
On our last full day exploring the Upper Amazon, the namesake of this area made its presence felt with lots of rain in the rainforest. Sheets of rain fell last night, obliterating the view of the shore across the river less than a mile away. It’s this rain that feeds the tributary rivers and is such a critical part of the rainforest cycle of life. Fortunately, it let up this morning, and we were able to do our walk in the protected forest area of Casual with an occasional drip from above. Our findings included the Goliath tarantula, a rosy-tailed boa, and a couple of poison dart frogs that looked like they were wearing colorful Freddy Mercury tights. The images tell the story of our forest findings and the community that calls this magnificent place home.