Steve's Adventures in South America
I bought a one-way ticket to Venezuela and I'm not coming back until my tube of toothpaste runs out...

Snakes and Spiders

We get up in the dark, dress and make our way to the lodge for 06:00 for our early morning walk. We're a bit dismayed that our guides don't turn up until 06:30. Still, in the mean time we chase pigs and I find some bright green glow-in-dark beetles! We form a single file train into the jungle and immediately discover swarms of mosquitoes. I wish I'd brought out my mosi spray. I get bit instead. The walk was pleasant and we saw centipedes, insects, spiders and moths. Not exciting, but pleasant. After a brekkie of pancakes and scrambled eggs at the main lodge we jump in a canoe for a paddle around the lake.

Centipedes Mating Spider Mutant Moth

"Jungle" comes from a Latin word meaning "impenetrable" and was given to name the rain forest by people paddling along rivers and not seeing a means to enter land. We saw plenty fine examples of this from the lake. We also saw Stinky Turkeys, an Ecuadorian name given to this foul tasting bird. A Caiman also let its presence be known to us before sinking below the surface.

Canoes Moored by the Main Lodge Jungle - Impenetrable Stinky Turkey

A big lunch back at the lodge and another jungle walk where we encounter a massive spiders nest straight out of an Indiana Jones film set! As it was strung straight across our trail we had to walk around it. Definitely not the sort of thing you'd want to stumble into in the dark! After everyone else (but me) almost stepped on it, Sean spots a brightly coloured snake resting on the floor! We all conclude (after our guide wasn't sure) that it was the highly venomous Coral Snake. It does have a harmless look-alike cousin but we're sure it wasn't that one! We wanted to get a long stick to clear some leaves away (for better photos) but our guide wouldn't let us fearing it may attack the next group to stumble across it. Boo!

Giant Spiders Nest Coral Snake

We see more huge spiders and toads, all toxic according to our guide. He's not a native and his knowledge seems weak and second hand and I don't believe him anywhere near as much as my indigenous Guyanese friends! We get a boat lift back to the lodge for dinner before a night time walk.

Spiders as BIG as Your Hand! Toad - Gribbit!

It's dark. Very dark. Especially when we all turn our torches off! It's nice to fumble around but we don't see anything. Except for a giant tarantula in the wood pile near the main lodge! Woah! Cool!

Our Guide Paddles Home View of the Main Lake Tarantula in the Wood Pile

Posted by Steve Eynon