31 October, Friday - Day 4

Oxbow Lake and Botanical Garden Tour. Halloween Night Walk

It rains all night so the temperature remains comfortable. The staff light up the kerosene lamps at 3:30 am and the wakeup call from our guide, Paty, comes at 3:50 am. A breakfast of eggs, fried yucca, porridge, papaya pineapple yogurt is ready for us.

We walk to the oxbow lake where the catamaran takes us out.

River otters looking like a loch ness monster

We are lucky and see five giant river otters. At 8am it begins to rain again.

The guides show us how to fish for yellow bellied pirana.
No one is able to catch a pirana with the fishing poles except the guide.

Our guide, Paty, with her list of birds

We see a Hoazin bird which uses its stomach gas as a defense. There are many comorants and jacandas along the shore.

There’s a tree with fruit bats lined up in a row.

Its raining fairly hard now so we go back to the lodge. Our hats are soaking wet. We’re scheduled to go the parakeet clay lick but because of the rain the birds won’t be eating any clay today.

Back at the lodge we watch a couple of videos about the macaws that are bred in the reserve. I see a hummingbird which is a thrill as one doesn’t see these birds in Miami. There are yellow weaver basket birds (Psarocolius angustifrous, russet backed oropendola) and Toco monkeys high in the trees by the lodge. I spy a brown like woodpecker bird which they tell me is a wood creeper. At 3:30 pm it stops raining and we go to visit the Botanical garden and medicine shaman. He gives us energy drinks and para para which is a natural Viagra. The joke is that if one bends the leaves of a para para plant, the leaves straighten out again.

It’s dark by the time we get back to the lodge and dinner is at 7 pm. The dining waiters are wearing masks for Halloween. We didn’t know they celebrated Halloween in Peru.

One fellow has a tarantula in his bathroom and the staff has to remove it.

8 pm is the night walk and there’s plenty of creepy crawlies out to satisfy the Halloween urge -- walking stick insects, crickets, frogs, scorpion and wolf spiders.

Walking stick

I somehow end up following a different guide than Rusela.

This guide catches a small caiman from a pond.

A black cat from the lodge keeps spooking the kids on our night walk. Rusela says she saw a big swarm of lighting beetles and a yellow poison dart frog on her walk with Paty.

Next Day

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