On the 3rd day, and basically 2 full days of travelling, we finally arrived in the real jungle, the Manu reserved zone. No more agriculture, no more settlements. Just primary dense forest and somewhere hidden inside some indigenous communities that have never had any contact with the rest of the world. Hard to imagine.
Researchers & short-term visitors only
The reserved zone is truly reserved. Basically only researchers may stay longer, tourists cannot stay longer than 2 days. Our Matsigenka lodge is basic, but has everything we need. Beds / mosquito nets / electricity / a cold shower.
That day, our chef Santiago, outdid himself and presents our lunch plates with a vegetable penguin and mouse. “El pinguino de Santiago” (and the mouse and the veggie toucan from the other group of three Alaskan women at the lodge) became the centre of attention in a bow and arrow tournament after lunch. Of course we also got to try to shoot this jungle original. It is a lot harder than it looks.
We also had a lot of fun with other jungle games in the exclusive outdoor mall of the lodge (unfortunately no bows and arrow for sale here). On offer is jewellery made from colorful jungle nuts and beans or bags from local fibres and tree bark.
We particularly enjoyed the “Catch-the-turtle-skull-with-the-stick” game, a fun jungle classic suitable for all ages putting your fine motor skills to the test 🙂
And this is the game…