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a day of exciting trips to clay licks
Most Magnificent Pair: Manu and Machu Picchu

Those blue-headed parrots sure love clayThose blue-headed parrots sure love clay (Cathy Bach)
Left at 5:15am. Short boat ride and walk to the macaw and parrot clay lick - amazing numbers (thousands and that is not an exaggeration) of parrots came first to feed on the clay on the bank. When something startled them, they would all fly away. What a ruckus! First the yellow-headed parrots came, then the mealy parrots, then the blue-headed parrots, and 2 orange-cheeked parrots. Got to the blind at about 6am and had breakfast while watching all the action. Incredible luxury, with chairs and tables. Had tasty pancakes and cereal and fruit and coffee. My favorite spot for coffee in my whole life. Then the macaws started coming in - absolutely huge and so gorgeous. When they fly they are totally bright red underneath. The sky was filled with birds. At least 60 macaws! They left at 8, but came back to the trees later. The cold shower at 11 felt so good - it's finally hot and humid here. The cold front is definitely over. Just a few bugs, not bad.

Tried to stay cool and take some pics before 3, then left for the tapir salt lick. A 3k walk through flood plain forest, then terra firma forest. We were literally dripping sweat when we got there. Then ate dinner, and into our mosquito net beds to wait for the tapirs. Rested a bit and it was really fun to hear all the night sounds -owls, frogs, nightjars, but no tapir by 8:30, so walked back the 3k in the dark. Was disappointed we didn't see any frogs or snakes, but we did see the most venomous spider here (the wanderling) and 2 whip scorpions and tons of spiders and a humongous bird-eating tarantula. It must have been 8' long. Fiorella coaxed it out of its burrow with a long skinny stick. On the way to the lick, we saw a huge tortoise - very exciting and more leaf-cutter ants! Got home at 10pm for another cold shower. Then set alarm for 4:45. Am covered with itchy bumps from sand flies, but this experience is beyond incredible!

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