machu picchu


So i decided to go to Machu Picchu in the end with a group of friends from
Teracaya that were doing the 4 day 3 night Inka Trail trek, sounds easy but believe me its not! day one started of with a steep hill straight away and kind of set the pace for the rest of the trek. The Inka Trail is made mostly of large rocks which made even the flat parts, of which there wernt many, hard enough. Day 2 was by far the hardest, climbing up steps as high as your knees for 8 hours straight with no end in sight. day 3 had its ups and downs, the downs being just as hard with steps being so big and my thighs were killing me. It was all worth it in the end with some amazing views along the way and great company to keep me along the way.

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So i haven’t updated the blog for the last 3 weeks for variolous reasons,
stomach bug being the main reason followed buy Ringworm (see pic below)
and a lack of internet in Puerto Maldonado. Ended up going to the doctors in
Puerto to get the stomach ache sorted which i had for over a week and the
Ringworm sorted out, apparently they have only seen the ringworm twice before
in Peru and never outside Lima, they were puzzled as to how i got it, but its
nearly gone now but still have to take the tablets for another 10 weeks. The
stomach ache has also gone too which is a big re leaf.


A lot of the work being done at the moment is on the new animal kitchen and
the new animal cage. The animal kitchen is taking shape quickly but is hard
work, especially in the heat.

The animals like to help when they can


I also went on a night time activity in the jungle to look for frogs, it involved
marking out a 5 sq m area in variolous locations and then carefully moving the
leaves to look for frogs, of course while doing this you come across all sorts of
jungle wildlife, most of all Tarantulas! Speaking of which we had our second
Tarantula in our room, this time a pink toed Tarantula, it was friendly enough so
we left it where it was and it was gone the next day.


We went to visit the farm next door to Teracaya last Tuesday and the had a
baby sloth, i have to say it is by far the cutest animal i have ever seen, you pic
it up and its arms and legs spread out ready to cling to you. Although its fur
looks rough its actually really soft.

Seen a few more snake in camp too, a 4 meter snake slithered under the
hammocks on Wednesday and on Thursday i nearly stepped on a Rainbow Boa
on the way back from bird watching on the canopy platform, its one of the better
looking snakes i have seen.

Also started to build a games board in my spare time with one of the other
volunteers, chess on one side and we are making a Teracaya version of
Monopoly on the other side. The chess side is now finished and now starting on
the monopoly.

 Went out catching butterfly’s on Thursday for the Butterfly project, some of the
were really colorful.

So i have been here over 2 months now and i am loving this place more and
more each day, the work is hard but very rewarding and the volunteers and staff
are amazing and i don’t want to leave, given the opportunity i would love to stay
and here.

Til next week

Dan :)


Week 5 at Teracaya in PERU

So this week seems to be the week our room decided to turn itself into a zoo,
we had our first tarantula, gecko, giant snail, an army of ants and i had a
scorpion on my mosquito net!, apparently they have only seen one other
black scorpion before at Taracaya (lucky me) and the sting is apparently
very powerful. The Tarantula was sitting on the wall at the end of the bed
late at night when i got in, decided to leave it as its more dangerous to move it,
they tend to stay away from you in general so it didn’t bother me too much and
it was gone in the morning! We liked the gecko but it didn’t stay long. The
scorpion on my mosquito net was executed using a pair shoes passed into
my mosquito net by mart.


Monday i had fruits, which involves going to one of the local farms on the other
side of the river and collecting banana leaves, bunches of bananas and papaya
if they have any, its interesting because you get to see how locals live and earn
money. In the afternoon i had cage enrichment which was changing one of the
quarantine cages so it was suitable for an owl that has arrived at taricaya. We
remove the hammocks and ropes, cut down some trees to place inside and we
were done.

Tuesday we went to Lake Tambopata, its an amazing oxbow lake surrounded  by
rain forest, the boat trip around the lake took about 2 hours stopping along the
way to look at wild life then going for a swim in the lake after. The temperature
of the lake was very warm which was surprising. The lake contains giant otters,
piranhas, stingrays and anacondas which made the swimming a bit more
interesting! Only one person got bitten by a piranha so it wasn’t too bad!.

In the morning i was  helping build the new cage again with Margaux and Raoul,
hard work in the heat but made good progress. In the afternoon i had bird
watching on the new farm platform, its just listing all the birds you see so they
can record what types of birds are around Taricaya.

We went to a local village an hour down the river, once their half of us went to
do some jungle clearing around plants that tericaya had donated and planted,
and the other half including the vet checked all the dogs and cats, giving the
injections etc.

Working again on the new cage then helped wash the boats in the afternoon
and went for a swim in the river to cool off


Off to Puerto Maldonado at the weekend, everyone from camp is going so
should be a good weekend!




turtles in taricaya


This week we finally finished the new Howler monkey cage, its been alot of hard work but it looks great and we put the monkeys in their and they seem to like it alot :-) turtles ready to be releasedNew Howler monkey cage We alos released the baby turtles that hatched last week, it was really nice to see the run so fast towards the water. My activities this week Monday: i went into town to Puerto Maldonado Tuesday: Building the foundations for another new cage with Ronald and Baptist followed by a swim in the creek then had animal feeding with Anthony and Pauline, it involves weighing out the different types of fruit or meat they eat and putting it in the appropriate bowls. You then go into the cages to feed them, the Howler monkeys are now my favourite, they look a little mean but have great personalities. Off to Amazon Planet again in the evening as its Oscars birthday, no doubt a late night again!

Wednesday I am working on the new Howler monkey cage this morning with Raoul, Margaux and Pauline, we have a little tidying up to do then we get to put the monkeys in their new cage which is cool, its taken a lot of hard work so its good to see it finished. Got to play with the Howler monkeys aswell, they are sooo cool, if you stroke them for a few minutes your hands turn orange from their fur which was a little strange. Then turtle feeding in the afternoon Thursday Animal feeding again in the morning then releasing the turtles in the the afternoon Friday Went to a near by island to clear a path and make a trail using machettes, very hard work (especially with a hangover) but you get to see all sorts of strange bugs like the Harlequin Beetle below. Went swimming in the afternoon and had a mud fight which was good fun Staff member Raoul gave up salsa dancing lessons friday night which went well considering i have two left feet! Seen alot of snakes this week, one went accross the path in front of me, it was about 6-7 foot long! i hope thats the nearest i get to one! ttfn

This weeks update

So after a heavy weekend In puerto Maldonado we headed back to Taricaya on the boat, the weather took a turn for the worse in the way of a storm and the lightning and rain was relentless, we all got soaking wet. Later Sunday evening we headed down to Amazon Planet, a tourist lodge further down the river for fair well drinks as Melanie was leaving in the morning, yet again ended up getting in at 2 am! Was a really good evening though as I got to know a lot of the staff better specially the two from Essex.
So Monday’s first job was to go to the turtle farm and check the eggs to see if any had hatched yet but none had and it would probably be a couple of weeks until they do. We then had to collect sacks of sand from the other side of the river and bring it back to camp so it could be used to build the new monkey enclosure, it took about 2 hours was very tiring especially as most of us had hangovers! I went for a swim in the river after to cool off.
In the afternoon I had to clear leaves from the butterfly farm, it was easy work and didn’t take long. Setting up nets to catch birds by the swamp in the morning at 4.30 so an early night.

So me errin and Rachel left for the 30 trek in the dark through the rainforest to set out nets across the swamp to catch and measure what types of birds are in that part of the rainforest. We caught 5 birds and all were really brightly coloured and tiny, it took about 4 hours in all and then had to carry all the equipment back in the midday heat. I slept for the afternoon and then we went to check on the baby turtles that had just hatched, they are really tiny. We are heading down to Amazon Planet for drinks again tonight as it’s Gail’s last night tomorrow.

First job today was tree mapping, we followed a trek through the rain forest looking for four types of tree used by locals for making cloths and other things and plotted them on a gps so information could be gathered about how far there seeds travelled ect. We got to see a lot of interesting things such as a walking tree, it has roots coming out the trunk about 3 meters up that extend to the ground that enable it to move so it can find a clear path through the canopy, we also saw a lot of tarantulas. In the afternoon me and waki had to repair the netting that runs along the side of the bridge that leads to the canopy platform that’s 42m high, was a fun afternoon.

Today was bird watching in the canopy, a relaxing way to start the day and we saw a lot of parrots and a family of howler monkeys asleep in a tree. Midday we were cutting down trees with machetes which we the put in the new monkey cage so they had something to swing from. Played with the jaguar on the way back for a little while, definitely my favourite animal here along with the trumpet bird (trumpy). Trumpy is a very rare bird, they are normally only found in quiet parts of the rainforest but he used to be someone’s pet and comes up to you while your in the hammock for a stroke and a scratch under the chin (see video). In the afternoon we cleared the ground of grass in the bird enclosure, again using machetes. Had spaghetti, boiled potatoes, and an egg in some sort of green sauce for dinner :- /

will post pics and vid to facebook as still cant get them to go on


rainforest gap year

My first week at Taricaya in the Amazon rainforest

So i finally arrived at Taricaya and with my backpack too which was a huge releife. it was a little overwhelming at first but everyone here is really friendly and made me feel at home straight away.
i havent sussed out how to upload pics or vids on here yet but by next weekend il have it sorted and post them then.
The camp itself is really nice but the huts are really basic and full of bugs all the time (4″ crickets and grasshoppers, tarantulas ect) as i expected, as after all it is the jungle, Just have to remember to shake anything you pick up before wearing it.
The camp has many animal mostly monkeys but tapirs, wild cats, a Jaguar, parrots and many more, it also has an owl that turns up in the evenings which you can feed and stroke and a trumpet bird that likes to be stroked under the chin which is cool.

The work is varied, some really physical like building new enclosures and collecting building materials, cleaning out animal cages which is good because you can play with the animals, the baby spider monkeys are my favourite. i will post videos of this next week.

Glad to be back in the town tonight for a comfortable bug free nights sleep and a nice meal tonight before going back to Taricaya Sunday afternoon.

Speak to you all next week

Dan :-)

Made it Lima so far

Made it Lima so far (which is more than I can say for my backpack, it didn’t even make Madrid!), was sat next to a fat bloke for the 11 hour stretch and had someone behind me who I can only assume had whooping cough but I’ve managed to brag a first class seat for the next 3h stretch :-) just hope I see my bag again!


Well after well over a year trying to make it happen its finally here, i leave tomorrow!
im still trying to get to grips with the blog setup so bear with me.
The first part of the trip is in Peru where i will be doing wildlife conservation in the Amazon rainforest. its really deep in the rainforest (2 hours by boat to the nearest village) and as remote as you can get. i will be posting updates with pics and hd videos on fridays and saturdays when i make the trip back to the village at weekends.

Il post more details about the project il be working on and more about me when i get a moment as im packing at present.

One man and his backpack