Language School - Peru, Language School Programs

Discovering a New, Strange Place; Part I

by Rachel Chaikof

photo by Rachel Chaikof

photo by Rachel Chaikof

Watching the transformation of the landscape as I ride through the Andes Mountains to the rain forest on the unpaved road, hearing the crickets chirping, watching bright red birds fly through the trees, sailing through the river, and sleeping in rustic lodges are memories that will not be forgotten.  This past week, I spent four days and three nights at Manu, a rain forest preservation in Peru.

Just seeing how the landscape transforms is astonishing.  At the beginning of the road trip, I saw very dry mountains with dried brown grasses and very few green plants.  Along the way, I began to see bright lime-green mountains with more plants.  Then toward the end of the road trip, I saw pure green mountains packed with trees and plants!  I also had a taste of the farming communities as we passed by them.

Photo by Rachel Chaikof

Photo by Rachel Chaikof

Fortunately, we made a pit stop at one of the farming communities, and I sure did jump out of the van to take a few snapshots!

We also made a stop at a bird watching dock where we could watch the birds flying and listen to them tweeting.

Photo by Rachel Chaikof

Photo by Rachel Chaikof

Afterward, we headed to a lodge that was located just on the edge of the rain forest zone.  I almost had a disaster getting to the lodge.  The lodge was located DEEP in the forest, which meant that we had a lot of walking to get there.  It was already dark and there were NO lights by the path to the lodge.  I pulled out one of my two flashlights from my suitcase, and the tour guide took my suitcase.  As I was heading to the lodge, the flashlight was uncooperative!  It would not stay on, and because this flashlight had three levels of lighting, it wouldn’t go on any higher than the first level which is EXTREMELY dim.  There was no way that I could get through the forest without a flashlight!  So, I yelled, “HELP!  My flashlight is broken!”  I yelled a few times –

“HELP!  My flashlight is broken!”
“HELP!  My flashlight is broken!”
“HELP!  My flashlight is broken!”
“HELP!  My flashlight is broken!”

Thankfully two tourists came back and got me.  Fortunately, when I arrived at the lodge, there was electricity, but only for a few hours.  So, at least, I had some time to get settled before finding my other flashlight.

Sleeping in the rain forest was an experience!  There is NO glass on the windows.  Just screens to keep the bugs out!  In fact, I had to sleep with a net hanging over my bed to keep the bugs from stinging me!  I was very grateful to have it as, unfortunately, I seem to have genes that cause my body to taste very good to bugs!

The following morning, we took a stroll.  What amazed me more than just the beautiful landscape was that there was trash all over the place left by previous tourists.  A tourist from Mexico, who is a big-nut advocate for global warming, collected bottles, and I picked up plastic bags.  It was just disturbing as the animals and plants don’t deserve to be left with pollution!

Photo by Rachel Chaikof

Photo by Rachel Chaikof

Thereafter, we packed up and headed for another two hours drive to go deeper into the rain forest.

Read more of Rachel’s rain forest adventure on her blog, Miss Travel Girl…

About Greenheart Travel

CCI Greenheart Travel is personally invested in providing cultural immersion programs that change lives, advance careers and create leaders. We achieve this by partnering with organizations and governments overseas that empower their local communities through experiential learning and practical development. We provide others with the same positive travel experiences in which we ourselves engage. Through travel and cultural exchange, we help individuals reach their full potential, leading to a more tolerant, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world.

Discussion

One thought on “Discovering a New, Strange Place; Part I

  1. great post –This is why I boycott plastic both at home and when traveling . Each month I stop using a piece of disposable plastic and source a biodegradable alternative. It works for me and my bin is much emptier. I post all my alternatives on my blog – click http://www.plsticisrubbish.wordpress.com

    Posted by polythenepam | July 25, 2009, 10:01 am

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