Oh my gosh the rain this morning! It was so loud and the wind was so extreme, some of the sheet metal was blowing off the roof. So I was up at 1:00am off and on, and lied in bed until 4:30am when the sun comes up. Coffee and books keep me occupied until breakfast comes around at 8:00am. After a quick breakfast, which I will say, I have never looked forward to peanut butter and plantains more in my life, a few of us search for monkeys just outside of the lodge. Much like Friday, it seems like all forms of life have run or hid from the aggressive weather last night. We see a beautiful pair of birds called Jacamar. They look similar to toucans and it is really challenging to get a good photo of them because once you get within 50 meters or so, they flutter away. So our three-hour trek to find monkeys turns into three hours of muddy wet boots, downed trees from the wind last night, and lots of humidity.
(we stopped a lot because they would hear something. I didn't hear anything but admire their passion for spotting critters. I don't have as keen an ear for those things and had to make fun of them sometimes. "Oh was that a leaf falling?')
Touché jungle, touché. Once back, we clean our boots in the river, change, and grab some lunch. This afternoon we get to make a trip to Chino village and see the village play soccer. In the middle of this village, much like Esperanza, there is a soccer field. Naturally, this makes me very happy. Claudio, a guide with the Amazon Tours, is from Chino village so we are hopeful to be able to play. After a short boat ride over, we arrive at the village and head to Claudio’s parents house.
A few travelers, including myself, grab a beer and watch soccer on the generator powered TV. Not only is soccer on the TV but also the elders of the village challenge the young gents and it is a spirited game. We are not able to play but I am so thankful to watch and be a part of this experience. The first game goes to the young gents only by a goal or two. Now the whole village bets on the game and the winners get a percentage of the bets. It is a pretty big ritual here. In the second game, the elders spank the young guys, it is pretty apparent that experience plays a big role here. It is a composed massacre. The older crew is very poised and intelligent, waiting for the young ones to make mistakes. The final ends with one game to the young bucks and one game to the older gents.
After a great time cheering with the villagers, we head home at dawn. You can tell that everyone is tired around the lodge from the deluge last night. A ritual that happens here at the lodge every night; a new guide will give the travelers a run down of what will happen after dinner and tomorrow. A biologist who is also a guide there named Andy is trying to say bird watching but it keeps sounding like beer. So a few of us who have been hanging out with him are giving him a hard time, saying anytime he wants to go beer watching to let us know, we will definitely join. We even wrote it on the white board with the other list of events. There is a really good group of people here who like to have fun and have a good sense of humor. I am really glad to be a part of these people. After announcements, no one leaves the lodge tonight. I think poor sleep and a full belly is the culprit. Tomorrow we are planning on exploring a new area of the jungle that the biologists have not been to yet. I can’t wait to see what is in this part of the jungle. I plan on sleeping well tonight. I am equipped with earplugs and early to bed so I can charge the day tomorrow! Another busy day in the jungle.