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'Good luck! Emperor Monkeys!'

We had breakfast before dawn today (my stomach was having trouble with that concept) and then set off for a long ride on the river to the Manu Wildlife Tent Camp. It was a little less than an hour to the Manu National Park checkpoint. There, we had to get out and sign in to the National Park as visitors.
The check in point for Manu National Park
The check in point for Manu National Park (Erin Correia)
Authentic dugout canoe
Authentic dugout canoe (Erin Correia)
Finally- Manu National Park!
Finally- Manu National Park! (Erin Correia)

From there is was another 5+ hours to get to camp.
Almost to the Manu Tent Camp
Almost to the Manu Tent Camp (Erin Correia)
Neat tree in Manu National Park
Neat tree in Manu National Park (Erin Correia)

Along the way, we stopped to spot a ton of birds, a white caiman, a snake, turtles and a group of squirrel and brown cappuchin monkeys! (things were looking up!)
Caiman!!
Caiman!! (Erin Correia)
Birds in Manu National Park
Birds in Manu National Park (Erin Correia)
Vulture in Manu
Vulture in Manu (Erin Correia)
The butterflies lick the salt off the turtle's eyes
The butterflies lick the salt off the turtle's eyes (Erin Correia)
Turtles sunning in the river
Turtles sunning in the river (Erin Correia)


When we finally got to camp, it felt so good to get out of the boat.
We made it to the Manu Tent Camp!
We made it to the Manu Tent Camp! (Erin Correia)
I wasn't sure about how the accommodations would be, but it ended up being my favorite place we stayed in the jungle! Camp was great! There was a main dining hall,
The dining hall at Manu Tent Camp
The dining hall at Manu Tent Camp (Erin Correia)
a bathroom/shower hut
The bathrooms at Manu Tent Camp- they were immaculate!
The bathrooms at Manu Tent Camp- they were immaculate! (Erin Correia)
and then individual 'tents'.
First glimpses of the tent camp in Manu
First glimpses of the tent camp in Manu (Erin Correia)


The tents were wood platforms with a thatched or metal roof and then the walls and ceiling were a giant box of mosquito netting. Essentially, we were staying in a giant bug net!
Home #3 in the jungle
Home #3 in the jungle (Erin Correia)

Inside, there was a desk, a couple luggage stands and two beds, both with individual mosquito nets as well. The bottom of the walls had a little bit of canvas, so the rooms weren't completely see through.
Relaxing in our tent at camp
Relaxing in our tent at camp (Erin Correia)


There was no electricity at the entire camp, but we had a little solar powered lamp in our room and the bathrooms and dining lodge were all lit by a very clever candle system. The set up was pretty fabulous, and the bathrooms were immaculate!! I wasn't going to take any chances with roaches, so as soon as we got into our tents, I put all of my luggage on my bed and tucked in the bed net. That way, I knew I was coming back to at least a safe bed!

Right as we were settling into our tents, Ted called us out and showed us a big family of red howler monkeys resting in the tree right above our tents!! I stood outside and watched them for quite a while. We left in the early evening for Cocha Salvador, an oxbow lake just upstream from camp. We took a 3 minute boat ride to the trail,
Our chariot in the jungle
Our chariot in the jungle (Erin Correia)

and then hiked for about 25 minutes to the lake. Along the trail, we saw a family of spider monkeys playing in the trees!
At the lake, we boarded a catamaran which was comprised of 2 dugout canoes with 2 wooden platforms over them and a couple of wooden benches nailed to the top.
Exploring the oxbow lake by catamaran
Exploring the oxbow lake by catamaran (Erin Correia)

Thomas and Wilson came along to paddle for us.
Our fearless leaders!  Thomas and Wilson got us everywhere
Our fearless leaders! Thomas and Wilson got us everywhere (Erin Correia)

On the water, we saw a ton of birds including the Hoatzin,
Hoatzins in Manu
Hoatzins in Manu (Erin Correia)

a couple types of monkeys,
Howler monkey in Manu
Howler monkey in Manu (Erin Correia)
  
Monkeys in Manu!
Monkeys in Manu! (Erin Correia)
and a family of giant river otters.
Giant river otters in Manu!
Giant river otters in Manu! (Erin Correia)

The family came out and swam around us curiously. We got to watch them catch and eat a bunch of fish! They were adorable, despite their slightly ugly faces!
We saw a whole family of giant river otters in Manu
We saw a whole family of giant river otters in Manu (Erin Correia)

As we continued to float, there was a bunch of movement in one of the trees.
A beautiful day on the oxbow lake
A beautiful day on the oxbow lake (Erin Correia)

We looked up and Cesar shouted 'Good luck! Emperor Monkeys!' (The first day of the trip, I told Cesar that is what I was most excited to see, and he told me that I would not get to see them, they were very rare). They are little monkeys with big white mustaches, they look similar to the Lorax, but as a small monkey! Cesar has been guiding there for 3 years and has never seen one before- we were very lucky!! They were jumping around with saddle-back tamarins, putting us up to 7 kinds of monkeys we had seen, and making it 8 in my life!
Emperor Monkeys!!
Emperor Monkeys!! (Erin Correia)

We continued to float around the lake until almost dusk and then returned to camp.
Enjoying our evening on the oxbow lake
Enjoying our evening on the oxbow lake (Erin Correia)


We had time for a quick shower before another delicious dinner. After dinner we all went back to our tents to turn in for the night. Guess what? Our tents were roach-free!!! Kepler and I each climbed into our netted beds and I attempted to journal for a while. The problem was, the light was drawing every bug in the nearby forest and they all kept flying at the side of the netting. I could only handle this for a few minutes before giving up and shutting off the light. I fell asleep to the sounds of the jungle!

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