Young Explores Blog – Day 14
As we woke up this morning we never thought that this would be one of the most intense days of the expedition! After a quick breakfast we left for a trekking day through the Pre Amazonia jungle, hoping to find two species of endangered monkeys, the yellow tailed woolly monkey and the nocturnal monkey. As soon as we took our first steps in the jungle we got assaulted by mosquitos. Nevertheless, we were lucky to reach the place where the nocturnal monkeys had been observed early in the morning by our guide.
There, the monkies were hanging up 10 meters over our heads. We spend some time, contemplating their behavior and attempting to take some good photos through the dense wilderness. Unfortunately, after 3 hours of exploration, we didn´t managed to find yellow tailed woolly monkey. However, there were plenty of colorful butterflies and tropical birds camouflaged among the never-ending trees.
On our way back to the camp site, our guide told us about a desolated cave, which definitely turned our exploration sense on! To our surprise we discovered an enormous cave. As we started exploring it, we discovered that the cave was actually a tunnel that sinks into the mountains. Our excitement increased as our guide revealed us no one had ever explored this deep dark and humid tunnel. We ran to our camp to grab our headlamps and start our speleological expedition.
After only 20 meters progression we couldn´t see the daylight anymore. Turning our headlamps off, feeling the flapping of the bats right next to our faces, was an unbelievable feeling. We walked about 200 meters in this muddy place, trying to touch the mud as less as possible since we knew it contained a lot of bat excrement which is toxic. Even though we thought we reached the end of the cave, another cave twice as big as the one before was awaiting for us! Even though our excitement increased in each step of our progression, we had to start thinking about our way back since it was turning dangerous and we had not the right equipment.
After a “cave shooting”, walking our way back to the campsite, our attention got caught by some kids who were playing with a wild rodent, which they had attached with a rope. We managed to convince them to release the animal but as soon as it was, a woman furiously run out questioning us about the animal’s release, as she wanted to keep it for her animal-loving daughter. A long discussion later, she came to understand this animal’s priorities and why it cannot be petted. Coming back, the rain forced us to move our campsite elsewhere. To close the day, we were delighted by local women showing their typical dance to the taste of local drinks.