Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Visiting the the burst of color that is the Peruvian rainforest

During our week off, which started on Sunday, August 17, we decided to take a trip down Manu road to the sister reserve of Wayqecha, Villa Carmen. Villa Carmen is on a river and about 500 meter elevation. The cheapest way to get down is to hitch hike down Manu road- this is what we attempted. We sat out at the road for 8 hours and very few cars even passed by. 2 stopped but didn't have room for us. There was a mix up with a reserved car for a tourist couple that was staying at the station and their vehicle wasn't gonna arrive till 9pm- which was too late for them. So we caved and took their spots and payed the full fare to get down. We had the last 2 seats in a cramped 'collectivo' which is a 12 person van. It had started raining about 20 minutes before the van arrived and poured the whole way down. Manu road is a curvy, steep, dirt road. In the dark and the rain it was an interesting ride to say the least. It made me feel as if I was on the Indiana Jones ride for 2 straight hours. We even had to drive through 2 waterfalls that were in the middle of the road! We got in very late and so we just set up our tent and ate some food (meat, yay!) and went to sleep.
Waking up on the second day of vacation, I was very unhappy to hear the sound of rain. I really wanted to go look for cool new species to see and photograph. Luckily, that was the only rain we got on our vacation week and we were able to find lots of very cool new species.

A map of Manu road, we stopped at Cock of the Rock on our way back to Wayqecha. Although it was only a 40 mile drive, it takes 2-3 hours because of the curvy and narrow road. Also notice the difference in topography between Wayqecha and Villa Carmen.
This is a blue flasher (Astraptes fulgerator) and the flower, which I don't know the name will appear in a lot of photos because the hummingbirds and butterflies loved them.

Caterpillar that looks like it could kill. They are poisonous, but for us, it is more of a rash reaction.

Sapphire-spangled emerald (Amazilia lactea).

Long-tailed tyrant (Colonia colonus). This was my favorite bird in the lowlands. I spent hours watching the male and female pair perched near their nest.

Long-tailed tyrant (Colonia colonus)

White-eyed parakeets (Aratinga leucophthalma)

Plumbeous kite (Ictinia plumbea). These kites were very common. I love their red tipped wings.

Red-capped cardinal (Paroaria gularis)

Vermillion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)