|I just got back from the jungle last night. My co-workers and I had a break from classes, so seven of us decided to go Moyobamba and Tingana. It took an overstuffed combi (van) and a super comfortable colectivo (bus) to get to Moyobamba. We stayed the night in a kind of gross hotel, but only cost S/10 per night, which is about $4. The food is so much better in the jungle than it is in Chachapoyas, and at $2-3 per meal, I´m sold. They have beans!!! Oh how I miss beans...
The next morning we had to get up at 4:30 to catch a taxi to the ´´port´´. We all piled into a wooden motor boat and puttered upriver for an hour before reaching Tingana. Tingana is actually an ecological reserve in the Peruvian jungle. There were treehouses, a whistling parrot, lime trees and surprisingly nice baños. Another group of tourists showed up shortly after us and we all went on a jungle tour. Our boats didn´t fit under all the jungle branches so our guide had to use his machete a few times to get us up the river. We saw monkeys, snakes, and tons of birds. But I must say, the mosquito is definitely king of the jungle. I´ve never had so many bites. We stopped at ´Tarzan´s treehouse´, where we tested out his giant tree swing. I was more scared to climb up the slippery tree than to actually jump off on the swing. But it was so worth it. After we were all sufficiently caked in mud, we headed back to camp.
We spent the afternoon napping and playing soccer with the locals. Then we had dinner and taught the pet parrot a new tune. There is no electricity out there so we ended up going to bed at 8:00 pm and getting up at 6:00 am. We all slept in a bamboo loft under mosquito nets. I felt like I was in a water bed. Every time someone moved the whole loft bounced up and down. Needless to say, it wasn´t the best night of sleep. They fed us breakfast and lunch before we boarded the boat again for Moyobamba.
When we got back to town, a couple of us went to the orchid festival. There were gorgeous flowers and some decent live music. My favorite was a band of middle-aged men playing all sorts of Peruvian instruments, including the recorder. They even played some accoustic Simon and Garfunkel.
The next day five of us went to the hot springs before heading home. We were smushed into more combis for the seven hour trip. The highlight was the giant rooster we spotted just a few minutes outside Pedro Ruiz.
PS. Happy belated birthday to my grandpa! I love you!