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Tambopata Reserve, Peru - 17th September 2009 - 1Getting a little more sleep is certainly helping with getting through the day with this pain in the side, which means I can take part in more activities. Still, I am unable to hike too far without getting exhausted, so opted out of the morning walk to the nearby medicinal plants. I’m already pushing myself harder than I should be and I don’t want to hold up the group from getting the most out of their time here.

It was nice to sit and read with just about everybody out of the lodge and I loaned the barman the netbook, so he could talk to his wife who he hasn’t seen for some time, and totally relaxed with a morning breeze on my face. After heading back to the room to freshen up a little, I came back to find a few people from another group in the front area, with one guy trying to take pictures of some large grasshopper type thing on his hand. It was pretty big with the body alone, a bit larger than a couple of my biggest fingers. It obviously didn’t like his photographic attempts as it bit him, forcing him to shake it off his hand, where it dropped to the side of the chair, where it stayed for most of the remainder of the morning.

As our own group returned, Elder handed over some cut up bits of wood to chew and try, before everyone had a good laugh. The flavour was like battery acid and started to make the mouth a bit numb – turned out it’s the equivalent of novacaine, but from a tree! Elder also brought back a concotion of tree sap that is used for fixing cracked bones. He made up a poultice and bandaged me up with it all; within an hour, I was able to move more freely, so something’s working.

My rib damage means I can’t do the tree climb I’d signed up for but instead, I get to record a video of B taking her turn. I’m pretty upset that I didn’t get to have a go but there will be other times, I’m sure. She made a great effort up a tree of around 110ft and seemed to enjoy the experience immensely. Soon after getting back from the tree climb, it was time to head to the canopy tower, for a view above the trees and the promise of a good Sunset and the occasional wildlife.

The walk to the tower is pretty short and along the way we had some explanaitions about rubber trees and the use of both sustainable and unsustainable farming of them, as well as seeing how the rubber is extracted. I never expected so many bugs at the canopy tower, and could stay longer than ten minutes at the top – the heat from the Sun was almost too much at that point. Flies were crawling in my eyes, up my nose and down my shirt, even though I had a ton of Deet on me; it was time to head to the bottom and get away from the swarm. On the way down, I encountered the biggest wasp-type thing I’ve ever seen and I’ll have to check my images later to clarify the species.

Back at the lodge and it was time to organise the details for leaving in the morning. Looks like we’re not all taking the same boat, so it was time to say goodbye to the group and wish them well. I wish I’d not been so crippled, so as to enjoy more time with everyone, but I’m glad we all had fun.