By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

ship rain low1ship rain low2

A Friaje is a cold spell and it came in yesterday evening, starting with thunder and lightning and then rain and although it was still hot and humid a wind came in the early hours and now it`s bloody cold and I`m freezing my bits off!

I am writing this whilst waiting for the boat back to MLC, it should have arrived last night for us to leave after breakfast but now won`t arrive until this morning for a lunch time departure.

An easy day again!

By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

As I am not leaving until tomorrow I am not on a list for any duties, the original intention was to leave today but we were told that the boat would be too small for us and as some two week volunteers have flights to catch tomorrow I am staying behind until Friday when I will transfer to the MLC.

I am trying to get all my blogs sorted today so that I can (hopefully) send them all from the MLC,

kitchen_dinermackaw lowKIT_DINER LOW

here at Shipetiari there is no internet, no phone signal and only enough electricity to charge electrical equipment for two hours twice a week.

Crees vs the community

By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

Barney lowfooty low2

Yesterday was a busy day spent doing nothing except kitchen duties so I listened to my MP3 and slept a lot.

Today we went to the local community to play football, I say we but with a dodgy right leg I excused myself! It was really hot and sticky but we had great fun.

We took some food with us to share with the community; although they accepted the food they seemed a little wary of us but the more we interact the more they will come to accept us and hopefully understand are intentions are good.

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Rupert and myself went out this evening for a couple of hours with Andy doing VES which involves picking a patch of forest and checking it for 30 minutes to see what animals we can find and then moving on and doing it again, we only managed to catch a few frogs but Rupert saw an Ocelot a few metres away from him which was rather lucky as some people can be here for months and not see one!


I really wanted to find a snake but no luck although Andy caught a small tree boa near the kitchen one evening, Andy has told us that if we see a snake to keep 2 metres away and call him, we do have a supply of anti-venom which is in powder form and is mixed with water which means we don`t need a fridge to keep it in but whether it would save your life is debatable, as there are some serious snakes here one of which is the Fleur-de Lance but then there is another snake that can eat the Fleur-de Lance!

By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

Got up at 4am and left the lodge at 5.15 for a journey into the jungle with Ruth a crees employee and two other volunteers, we were looking for woolly monkeys.

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We stopped for breakfast at about 7am which consisted of cold rice, chips and sausages, then on through the jungle again but it was now getting more difficult as although there was a path it wasn`t very clear and Ruth had to use her machete quite a lot and occasionally refer to the gps, quite a few times we went off the path to see if we could hear the monkeys and it was tough going.

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Unfortunately we never saw any woolly monkeys but we did see some Golden Tamarinds and we could faintly hear howler monkeys, Ruth said you can hear them up to four kilometres away.

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We eventually arrived back at the lodge at 3.30 pm and after ten hours in the jungle we were beat, never has a cold shower been so good.


Although it is warm in the day it can get cold at night as we have had a mini friaje which is a cold spell that can rise up from the Artic and cover Peru, the friaje`s can get very cold and last for a week or more but I think we have got away lightly.



Here at Shipetiari the showers are cold and Al Fresco, although I don`t like cold showers after a morning in the jungle they are rather refreshing

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The laundry facilities are cold water, soap and a sink and hope the sun shines to dry your clothes.

As for going native why shave in the jungle! I can see a full beard coming on!

Andy the slave driver!

By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

Had a lie in until 6am, well it is Sunday! Shower, sort out my gear, breakfast and then a break for a while so I managed to charge my netbook, we are limited to two hours charging twice a week.


8.30 am out with Andy to download videos from the camera traps, Andy doesn`t hang about and is so passionate about the rainforest it`s full throttle everywhere until he spots and animal and then we stop, we saw some squirrel monkeys which was cool.

Andy told us that to set up a camera trap in a tree can take all day and he has to carry 50 kilos of ropes to do it!


We downloaded some great videos and saw Tapir, Pale winged trumpeters, Agouty, White lipped Peccary, Leopard, Armadillo and Ocelot, Andy will show the videos to the local community tomorrow as this information is very useful in encouraging tourism and as some of the community earn their wages from this it could be a great help.



First aid training

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Good breakfast of fried egg, rice, tomato and hot banana, it was great!

Great lunch fish, rice beans and salsa – having a smoke and coffee and I was thinking this time last week I was on a flight to Madrid and here I am sitting, looking and listening to the rainforest!

First aid training today with Andy, including a discussion on snake bites; we also did stretcher training where we strapped Barney to a spinal board and as he was immobile Nica and myself took the opportunity to draw on his face.



Jungle training Friday 18th

By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

A later start today, set my alarm for 6am but woke up at ten to six to the sound of bird song, the individual lodges are spectacular as the front is completely open to the forest so effectively you are sleeping outside but this means you have to keep your gear stored away and sealed to stop ants and bugs getting in.


I slept like a baby last night but upon waking my back was giving me hell, nothing that a few iboprophen couldn`t sort out though, breakfast at 7am and then we went for a walk through the forest, we found a massive tree that was hollow and Nic looked inside and found some bats roosting, we also found a snake skin inside which was later identified as a bushmaster, gulp!

We also found a nut which the birds can break into, all I can say is they have strong beaks as it took a bit of cutting into with my Leatherman, as I was trying Nic said there is a primate using tools!

On our way back it started to rain which was very refreshing, then we had lunch and after that some talks on animals, after a break we had machete training and it was a competition between the boys to see who could cut the biggest branch.


As it was raining we chilled out a bit today and had a rest, what tomorrow brings we shall see.

Awesome views then sweat and tears!

By npegler1 | Filed in volunteer stories | No comments yet.

BOAT LOWkids river low

Up at 4.30 am as we had to have the bus loaded by 6am and breakfast at 6am, left at 6.35 to travel to the river and then a four hour boat journey to Shipetairi, we arrived at about 5pm and then had to lug all of our gear to the lodges, this took about 40 minutes to carry my rucksack, boots, bumbag and a large heavy pile of eggs which as I keep changing hands pulled some muscles in my back, I then turned around walked back to the river for twenty minutes, picked up my large bag and back to the lodges.

There was still some gear to get so I volunteered with three other people to help Andy get some more stuff and on the way back Andy saw some Jaguar prints we

which were fresh, as in minutes old!, in fact we had walked over some prints which means we must have walked past it in the dark!

Quick shower a meal and write this blog which I am finishing at 10pm, despite the hard work the journey was unbelievable.



Nica 6 month intern with Peruvian`s in local costume

Feel a lot better today as yesterday I was still suffering the effects of the altitude but by about 3pm I felt a lot better which means it takes about 48 hours to get used to it, had a good late lunch where I cleared any leftovers on other people plates! And then three of us went out in the evening where I had a sandwich and a sticky bun and then we went to a pub for a couple of pints, so it`s fair to say I was feeling a lot better.

Up at 5am this morning; shower then outside for a smoke and sitting in the square outside the hotel in the distance I could hear a brass band playing, only in Peru! We left at 6.30 for our journey to the cloud forest, the roads were paved for the first few miles and then turned into a dust track when we came to the last village before descending into the forest we stopped for a break, not that we had a lot of choice as a festival was taking place blocking the road!

The roads were actually in good condition but it was best not to look down too often! The road to Manu was blasted out of the hillside in the 1920`s and is an engineering marvel.

For tonight we are staying in a place called the cock of the rock which is named after a local bird

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it`s in a beautiful setting in the cloud forest and consist of separate wooden buildings, we had a look at the restaurant earlier and two feet from the door were humming birds feeding!

So it`s off to dinner in a while and then bed and an early night as we leave at about 6am tomorrow for our journey to Shipetairi.