Sunday, 15 February 2009

Visit to PumaRinri

PumaRinri means the ears of a puma. Today PumaRinri is a lodge set overlooking Rio Huallaga in the sub-tropical selva about 30km drive from Tarapoto. When the river is low it reveals 2 rocks that resemble the cat's ears so hence its name. There are 7 bedrooms overlooking a spectacular view of the now swollen river. The lodges are constructed from local materials of bamboo and palm thatch and inside include all modern necessities including hot water. The view is spectacular and the sound of the river and wildlife provides great accompaniment to the visual scene.

I stayed in the lodge one night along with a Peruvian couple who were celebrating the Valentine's weekend and were in consequence non-communicative. No matter, we were well looked after by a team of 5 covering cleaning, cooking, maintenance and guide duties from Miguel and engaging and very helpful companion. Food was good and mainly cooked over a wood fired hob. The rest of the time was shared between bathing in the small dipping pools by the lodges, watching the wildlife and 2 local visits to waterfalls and some rapids.

Within a short while of being there I saw several different birds and later numerous moths, butterflies, lizards, frogs, a coupe of small monkeys and very large spider.
On the first day we went to the rapids which admittedly weren't that spectacular but included a walk along the river's edge to look at the fishing lodges. During the dry season when the river reduces in volume the fish swim up river and are caught in nets by the people that occupy these river dwellings.

At night the stars were fantastic and the sounds of the selva and the river were at their most prominent. Whilst the rooms were more or less bug-tight I did spend some time hunting down anything that I thought would cause me problems. I woke to a disappointingly cloudy dawn but the day picked up and after breakfast we visited some local waterfalls, Cataratas de Pucayacquillo within a 30 minute hike along a steepish jungle path. The falls were very nice, not spectacular in size but the setting was great and I was able to both bathe and shower.

Overall this was a very worthwhile and enjoyable excursion and easily organised via my hotel

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