Boots, Birds, and Binocs... Peru 2011
Location: Pantiacolla Lodge

Today's boat ride down the Madre de Dios River was beautiful and relaxing.  Pantiacolla is a very nice lodge -certainly more geared for tourists though.  The only other people here are some Australian tourists, who are all very friendly.  Upon arrival we all got a glass of lemonade and then went outside by the kitchen to see a small green put viper perched on the branch of a low tree. 

We had a nice short hike today in which we saw a couple of monkeys and found a skeleton.  The change in vegetation the lower you go is quite remarkable.  So much warmer and incredibly humid here-makes a cold shower feel amazing after a hot hike. 

The swim in the 'high energy' Madre de Dios was more of a challenge than it was relaxing, but still fun.  The river swept me away pretty quickly and I definitely wish I was wearing some water shoes or chacos or something to make it a bit easier to stand up on the rocks. 

The discussion today was all about different groups articulating the importance of wild spaces in different ways.  I guess the biggest discrepancies here I see are between indigenous groups and more western 'civilized' groups.  Popularity is growing for conservation in the western world, but it often seems half hearted and actually rather backwards.  I'm sure not all indigenous groups have the greatest management of wild spaces but they s

We have one more night here and then we are headed further down the river to Cocha Cashu. 

-Paige W.

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