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3 Nov

This past weekend, I took advantage of the Nov 1 national holiday for Dia de Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day), and took a 4-day trip to Pacaya-Samiriya National Reserve.  Pacaya-Samiriya is a vast expanse of dense Amazonian jungle, a bit difficult to access, and not heavily frequented by tourists.  In order to get to our destination, our group — myself, fellow TNS volunteer Yun, and a Canadian NGO worker I met recently named Veronique — had to take a colectivo from Tarapoto to Yurimaguas, a long ferry ride from Yurimaguas to the flyspeck town of Lagunas, and from there ride several hours in a canoe to get to our first campsite.

Holding a baby crocodile just snatched out of the water
Holding a baby crocodile pulled from the water by our canoe during a night-time excursion in the park

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The Blue Lagoon

16 Oct

IMG_2988 copy (blog)

On Saturday, fellow volunteers Armandine, Rod, Yun, and I took the two hour ride over ridiculously bumpy dirt roads and one river crossing via ferry to the town of Sauce.

This rather remote and undeveloped area, once a bastion of the Sendero Luminoso (“Shining Path”) terrorist group, also boasts the large, picturesque Laguna Azul (“Blue Lagoon”).  We had come for this, the pleasant breeze, and the relaxing and tranquil atmosphere.  I also got a taste of the unexpected:

Video: I jump into the lake from a cliffside platform over 45 feet high (video updated 10/17, 9:08pm)

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48 Hours

10 Oct


Eight days into my Peruvian adventure, I don’t have much in the way of comparison as to a “typical weekend”, but in the past 48 hours I have survived an uncomfortably close call in a taxi, drank snake-infused liquor, eaten beetle larvae (video embedded below) and fried jungle ants, thrown a big house party, and seen/done a whole lot more worth remembering.

Video: I attempt to cajole Johan into eating grubs with me

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