Venezuela Expedition 2016

JBL Expedition 2016 Venezuela

JBL Expedition 2016 Venezuela

The surrounding of our Orinoco Eco Lodge

The lodge was so remote that the surrounding nature seemed really untouched. After many expeditions we have come to define “untouched” by the amount of rubbish we come across. According to this criterion there is hardly any untouched nature in Southeast Asia. These light plastic shopping bags – and worse - are everywhere. Apart from one single floating flip flop on the water, we didn’t see any rubbish on any of our trips in the Orinoco Delta.

We used canoes and kayaks to explore the surroundings and the smallest rivers practically in silence. Everyone enjoyed this rather isolated form of exploration and it allowed us to approach animals like monkeys and birds more successfully. This wouldn’t have been possible with the whole team in the motor boat. There were tarantulas living in the trees at the lodge and these became the pets of most (not all) of the group members. It was really entertaining to observe the difference between our group and the average tourists in the mornings. A large banana spider (Phoneutria) jumped down from the breakfast table and caused the sort of scrum normally caused by a sumptuous buffet. And before we could brush our teeth in the morning there were the nosy little crawlers such as cockroaches, centipedes and numerous spiders to be removed from our tooth mugs. We did this as if was the most normal thing in the world. And anyone who still thinks of women as the weaker sex would have changed their minds if they had seen them at the washbasin or later in the mud getting to grips with the leeches! Claudia from Hamburg was fascinated by the leeches on her arm, and instead of removing them she got her camera and took photos of her new pets for posterity. Directly within sight of the lodge turtles were sunbathing at the river. Lizards and snakes were there too, as were the non-swimming or crawling bunch, which included howlers, birds and incredible butterflies. Some animals in the wild even try to get close to the lodge guests to get themselves something to eat. A caracara (Falconidae) but also other birds continually tried to steal our breakfast or evening meals, often with success.

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