5:30am: Awaken to the sound of red howler monkeys outside your cabin. Wonder if a giant washing maching has taken over the jungle, or possibly a spaceship landing. Realize it is really just the crazy red howler monkeys.Try desperately to go back to sleep since you got up at 4:30am the day before.
6:30am: Give up trying to sleep and climb out of your mosquito netted-cot. Get ready for the day with no hot water or electricity. (Which means no shower. Again.) Put on the same clothes you´ve been wearing for the last 48 hours in the jungle.
7:30am: Traipse by lemon trees and macaws on your way to the main lodge for a breakfast of fresh squeezed juices, hot tea and eggs.
8:30am: Hop into a long, narrow jungle boat and cruise down the Tambopata river, spotting macaws along the way and enjoying the breeze off the water.
9:30am: Disembarque at a small little port and walk down a plank onto the rocks of the river. Climb into a van and enjoy a bumpy ride down a dirt road lined with palm trees and jungle-y bushes.
10:30am: Arrive at the Puerto Maldonado airport, which consists of basically two rooms: one for checking in, and one for waiting. The security ´machine´for your carry on luggage is a person who asks if you have anything illegal or dangerous in your bag. Say no. Begin marathon day of traveling and waiting on your way to Igauzu falls, Argentina.
11:30am: Still waiting. Have a beer. What the hell else is there to do?
12:30pm: Still waiting......
1:30pm: On board flight 1 of 3 for the day, headed towards Lima.
3:30pm: Arrive in Lima and find out that you can´t check in for your 9:40pm flight until 6:30pm. Do the math while carrying a massively heavy backpack and two other bags and feel like crying but resist. Find out you can store your luggage and still access the restaurants and shops in the airport without a boarding pass and feel much happier.
4:30pm: Give up and eat at McDonalds as it is either that or Papa John´s, so what is a girl to do?
5:30pm: Peruse airport book store and find they have a harrowing sample of English books. Settle instead for gossipy magazine and Cosmo, which you haven´t read since you were 15. Proceed with taking the ´100 questions about Sex´quiz with your friends and feel appalled by some of the advice Cosmo gives.
6:30pm: With backpack from hell firmly attached to back, go to check in for flight number 2 and find that there is still no check in counter assigned to your flight. Get in a line anyway and hope for the best.
7:30pm: Take out money from an ATM in order to pay the $30 airport tariff. Again.
8:30pm: Head for security and the gate for flight #2.
9:30pm: Realize that your flight is not leaving on time since you are still sitting there and they haven´t started boarding yet.
10:30pm: Eat ´dinner,´which consists of overboiled bowtie pasta with a velveeta-like substance and deli ham while watching horrible romantic comedy on board flight 2 of 3.
11:30pm: Think you are going to die as the plane dips precariously and wavers in the air. Clutch seat and curse yourself for not taking your xanax.
12:30am: Plane dips precariously and shakes, making doomsday noises. Turbulence abounds.
1:30am\3:30am: Touch down without crashing. Set clock forward two hours to Argentina time.
4:30am:En route via taxi from the international airport at Buenos Aires to the domestic airport for flight 3 of 3.
5:30am: Stand in check out line behind 3 huge groups and fall asleep while sitting on backpack from hell.
6:30am: Drink coffee in vain attempt to stay awake.
7:30am: Board final flight.
8:30am: Puzzle at the group of rowdy Spanish-speaking tourists on board the flight who are taking pictures of one another on the plane.
9:30am: Wait endlessly for your luggage to appear. Feel as though you have been run over by a truck.
10:30am: Arrive at the very heavenly Sheraton Inn, a beacon of all things good and wondrous, in Igauzu Falls. Be stunned by views of the Falls from the lobby window and congratulate yourself on the very wise decision to stay here.
11:30am: Shower. With hot water and lots of lights on in the bathroom. Adore the fluffy white towels.
12:30pm: Turn to putty as you get a massage in the lovely spa and practically fall asleep.
1:30pm: Sit poolside listening to the rush of the Falls behind you and sip a caipirinha while basking in the sun. Feel that life is very good. Very, Very good.