May 29

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No cell phones today, just the sound of rain. The forest was paying honor to its name. Alvaro said at breakfast that the animals are not very visible during rain, and that the trails are even muddier than in the first place; therefore he suggested that we take it easy and wait for the rain to pass. So we did, and waited until lunch. It was an unexpectedly bummy and relaxing time - we took a long nap, wrote our travelogues, and I tried to stay away from camera cleaning. Just before lunch the lodge area was invaded by some monkeys, and we got a front row seat at watching them looking for bananas in the trees. At times it was quite noisy like in an argument.

After lunch, Essan & I went under Alvaro's guidance to the largest tree in the vicinity. Lane stayed behind, as she was not too excited about overly muddy trails. It turned out to be not as bad as anticipated, and after a short hike we arrived at the tree. This tree is truly magnificent, maybe 8m across at the base, and 3m higher up in the trunk. The guides pull guests around sunrise up to a platform located at 40m above ground; we skipped it due to weather, and in my case, due to the fact that I am infamous for my fear of heights. But reportedly the view of the sunrise over the canopy is amazing.

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After this short hike we all went on a boat ride on the lake, at which the lodge is situated. Formerly a part of the Manu river, now isolated as a lake since the river keeps changing its bed all the time. Alvaro and an assistant very easily paddled the catamaran with us as passengers. Due to the very slow speed and no noise we could get rather close to some birds -- too bad the light was poor, and the birds weren't quite as plentiful as along the Manu river itself. However, from the rainforest quite amazing, loud grunting and other sounds could be heard. Clearly, this is a pure and unfiltered jungle. The sunset was the usual self - very impressive and quick.

Dinner was exquisite as always, and we all thanked the chef. Afterwards, Lane wanted to see some of the pictures which I took over the past few days, so everyone including the lodge staff was confronted with a G4 Powerbook and pictures of Macao, spiders, and millipedes. Pictures of our trip to Hawaii were also requested as well as those from Scandinavia. Eventually, we ended up in bed, thrilled about the 5:40 alarm clock setting.

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