Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Iquitos, Loreto, Peru, Thursday, 31 March 2005 12:33pm

Yesterday afternoon was occupied by a visit to the village just upriver from the lodge. We paddled the dugouts over there, rather than forge our way through the jungle. We got to see how the riverenos live, which is mostly in bungalows like the ones we're staying in, but with fewer walls. They have the same thatched roofs and stilt legs, though.

The village has a few concrete buildings, notably the government-provided schoolhouse which overlooks the most important part of town: the soccer field. The biggest events in the social calendars of the villages around here are invitational soccer tournaments. Seven or eight villages are invited over and there's a huge celebration with all sorts of food and drink.

In the evening, we saw some more tarantulas and fishing bats, but no caimans.

We were supposed to get up at 5am to go on a hike to see howler monkeys, but it started pouring at about 3am and kept raining until 8am.

We did go on a hike after breakfast, slogging through a lot of mud from the rains, and saw another pocket monkey and some owl monkeys.

After lunch, we went piranha fishing. We caught a bunch of small ones, of two different types. They must have been very plentiful in the murky water because you could barely put your hook in the water before they were nibbling. Once we'd landed a bunch of them, we fed them to black-collared hawks. Usiel called to get the bird's attention (his impressions of various birds and monkeys are impressive), then threw the fish into the river, and the hawks flew down and snatched them.