The Amazon

A few days ago we arrived at our lodge after a hour long bus & boat ride . We met our guide and he was called Robert. He came from Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon, but had grown up in the jungle. When we arrived at our lodge we were welcomed by the freshest lemon juice you've ever had. Then we were showed around the area. After we were showed we then had a little rest . Then it was time for the night walk.



On the night walk we saw some big grasshoppers, lots and lots of spiders. The biggest spider we saw that night was the wolf spider (we saw a tarantula another day). We also heard bats, a walking tree. The walking tree is cool. It walk on its roots and can move about a metres a year. We also saw a huge tree that was 350yrs old. It was 60m tall. It was a Kapoc tree. We turned off our torches and listened to the sounds of the jungle.

The next day we woke up at 5am and took the boat to go and see Macaws. At the viewing hut we could see a clay wall and a tree that all the birds landed in. The reason that the birds go to the claw wall is to lick the salts and minerals which helps to digest the seeds that they eat.

Te next activity was the fruit farm. The farm had oranges, star fruit, papaya, bananas, mandarins, avocado and lemons. I tasted orange and liked it. It was very juicy. It wasn't like a normal farm. It was in the jungle.

After lunch we went piranha fishing. We took a boat and walked to an oxbow lake. It is where a river is twisting and turning and gets cut off and that's what is left of it. We were on a raft to go fishing. We caught 3 piranhas, a sardine and another kind of fish. I tried fishing but the one i caught escaped and fell of the rod as it was coming into the boat. The piranha was a very flat, skinny fish. If you look at it side on there is hardly any of it but it has razor sharp teeth. We put part of a leaf in its mouth and it chomped it and cut a perfect semi circle. Thats how sharp its teeth are.



The next day, it was raining very hard at breakfast. We couldn't make moulds of footprints because it had been raining….which was a shame because there was a jaguar footprint. We went tree planting. We planted trees that in 350 years would be huge. We each got our own tree which was fun because we planted it not with our hands but with a tool that you shove into the ground and then squeeze it tight and then pull it up. It was very hard. We put some nutrients in the hole so the plant could grow better. The nutrients came from leaves that had decomposed into soil on the floor of the jungle. The. We built a clay wall. Around it to trap water so it could grow. We put some sticks to support it because of falling branches. On our way there was a huge tree by the path that we heard fall. Luckily it didn't fall across the path. We put our names and date on the plant. If we come back we will know which one is ours. On the way back we saw an boa constrictor snake. It was not poisonous. What this snake does to kill small animals is to squeeze them to death.



In the afternoon we went to visit a family to see how they lived. They had a fruit farm as well it was a small one though. Their house was a shed that had no windows or doors. They had a tin roof and no beds. They didn't have a tv or electricity. They didn't even have a stove. They had to cook over fire. The kids didn't have any toys.

That night we went caiman spotting. Caimans are a type of alligator that can grow up to 2.5m long. We saw three. One was a big one and two were small ones. We got a metre away from them all. The biggest one was very close to the steps that we went up to our lodge.



Our final day was quite sad because we had to leave. I really wanted to stay because it was very interesting.



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The amazing Machu Picchu

Today we went to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world. It really is a very amazing sight . It is even more amazing if you come in the way we did.

We came in the way where you get an amazing view of Machu Picchu before you enter. Before we entered Machu Picchu we went on a walk to the Inca bridge. The Inca bridge was amazing. The walk to the Inca bridge had a huge big drop off on one side. If you fell off you would DIE!! When we got there we had a rest and had some chocolate. The bridge was built for any enemies coming along to attack them. The bridge was amazing how it was built. It had a part that was cut into a cliff. How they did they build it? Who knows?

The path lead on and was all over grown. It just looked like a green line eventually. The bridge was a couple of wooden planks. It didn't even have a rail.


When we came back we started to explore the main part of Machu Picchu. The first part we went to was amazing how they built the walls they were almost perfectly rectangular and square. It must have taken at least 50 years to build. There was central square and

After the plaza we went to see the observatory. We went to the top and it wasn't anything like nowadays observatories. The special things about this one is that it wasn't destroyed by the Spanish that came to take over the continent. It looked amazing. It was lots of rocks. How much rock cutting would it take? Who knows? They used it to work out which way was North, South, East and West using the main rock and the stars. We also saw the temple of the condor. The temple looked amazing. It was 3 huge rocks, one for the body and head and two for wings.

We walked in and out of some rooms of the houses there. There was also a toilet there. It was a hole in the ground at the back of a room. You couldn't go right in because there was a rail there.

Machu Picchu was on a huge mountain that the river had carved around to make. It was like an island except it was joined to land. The river was huge. It was very rough too.

There was lots of terracing to grow lots of crops like corn and rice. There were hundreds of steps. How would they kill animals to eat without guns to kill them? I didn't see many animals around that looked good to eat. There were two llamas that I got to pat. They were soft, dusty and warm. There is a huge mountain behind Machu Picchu that you can climb but we couldn't because they only let up to 400 people up there per day.



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An observatory 

Today we left Mendoza , the second biggest city in Argentina. The drive was beautiful.On the map it showed one big curve through the mountains but it was actually a whole lot of hairpins 
and bends.

On the bends and hairpins there was a steep drop off.  When we got there we set up camp. Then it was time to go the the observatory. It was a platform with a telescope. Th  first thing we looked at was Orion Nebula. Before we looked at it he pointed at it with a low powered laser. Th Orion Nebula looked like a white cloud with a couple of stars. The next thing we looked at was omega Centauri. It is a globular cluster. It looked like a whole patch of stars packed into a tiny space.  After that we looked at the jewel box, it is a star cluster in the constellation Southern Cross.  You cannot we it without a telescope. The final thing we looked at was Jupiter. You could see four of its moons. They moons are called Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa.

The next day we went to a proper observatory. It was a big dome with a shutter that opens at night to look at the stars. We went on a tour and you had to wear hard hats. On the ground floor there was a big big big vacuum chamber to clean the mirror. On the first floor there was a room where the astronomers work and the bottom of the telescope. On the top floor you could see the telescope. The light comes in and hits the main mirror, then it gets bounced off onto another mirror that reflects the light into the cameras and all the computers. Then it gets sent down into the room for the astronomers to look at.

The telescope was HUGE. 

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a volcano birthday!!!!

Today it was my birthday, the 7th April!!! It started off in the tent and I got a go of the iPad and then the others came in and it was time for presents. I got four presents. One was a headscarf, another was a Pucon shirt with a volcano on it. Pucon is a small town by Villarrica  volcano. When we went there the volcano was on orange alert. It was spewing out small amounts of lava. Luckily Pucon is sheltered from the lava flows. Another of my presents was a ‘Chile’ soccer ball. The last one was a jar of honey. After we hopped out we had breakfast then we played for a bit in the sand with lava rocks. We found lots of lava rocks buried. Xavier found two cacti. Then we had my cake. It was a small cake and it had Nutella icing. It also had lollies and pieces of chocolate on top. We had party hats and plates and party blowers that made loud noises in them when you blow them. I had the biggest piece of cake. 

After the cake we found a scorpion. It was buried in the sand then it ran into the bush and into its home. You could see a beetle that it had eaten the insides out of. We put a stick near it to see how it uses its tail to sting. 

We then drove and went up a track that lead to a volcano. We stopped and climbed it. There was no track so we had to make our own way up. It was really hard climbing because there was lots of loose lava rocks. It got steeper toward the top and one point it was about 45degrees. At the top you could see into the crater but you could not see the bottom. Earlier on we went to a lava flow and it was about 15-20km long and about 3km wide. You could walk onto the lava flow and see the that it came from the volcano that we had climbed. It had done a massive eruption because it blew half the volcano away. 🌋 It felt great when we got to the top and it was worth it because you got a great view. Before you got to the top there was this massive drop off that led to the middle of the crater. Daddy said we couldn’t go near the edge because it was dangerous. 
That night we got to Malargüe. We arrived at past midnight and we were camping. 
It was my favourite part of the trip. 

Sent from my iPad

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chaiten volcano

Today I climbed a volcano!!!!!!!!! We started by walking through a forest.Soon we came to a small bridge.There was a little creek and then a waterfall and on the other side of the creek there was a huge giant Nulca.  The forest was interesting because in 2008 the volcano erupted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. There was lots of ash and pumice. There was also some natural volcanic glass near the top of the volcano . When we had a little bit to go the weather got badder and badder!!!  At one point it was hailing!!! We decided to turn around because we thought you could not see a thing also because you couldn’t see more then 10m in front of you because it was so foggy and misty. When we got back to the car we were drenched. 
The day after daddy showed me the gps because it tracked where we went. The crater was huge. It was as far as we walked. We just missed the summit, but we couldn’t have seen a thing. 

Also the night after we did the walk I had a dream that there we turned around and made it to the top and there were cabanas(cabins) there and it was sunny and the river was flowing through the crater. It was really weird.

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another big walk – this time on a glacier

Today we went on a BIG walk.  We woke up then packed . Then we had to sort of run to catch our mini-bus.On the way we stopped by this waterfall that was about 5.4m high.The track started  by going through a forest. There was lots of this plant called nulca which have these big leaves growing on a stem. They grow individually. You can eat the stem but we didn’t. It has to be cooked properly. 
After about 500 meters we came to a rockfall. The rockfall was hard to scramble over and there were lots of sedimentary rocks. These rocks are rocks that have lots of layers in them. After the rockfall there were some more forest parts to walk in. Then we came to a mini lake that was cold. We stopped for a drink there. It was a bit muddy on the ground and there were lots of patterns on the ground. They were made from flowing water. 
We came then to the glacier moraine. It had lots of rocks and ice. Underneath there was solid ice. The moraine forms when the glacier picks up rocks and dirt and dumps them at the end of the glacier. Some rocks I reckon weighed over 100 tons. 
The moraine led to the glacier. We stopped to put on our crampons. Crampons are basically things that go on the outside of the shoe. They have spikes on the bottom that grip onto the ice. On the ice it was a bit hard to walk with crampons on at first but then we got into the hang of it. 

After walking for a bit on he glacier we came to an ice cave. We looked inside it and there were a few creeks running into it. This cave led into the heart of the glacier. All the water that is in the heart helps the glacier slide along the ground.

We came to few more ice caves then we came to one that had one creek running into it. It went on one side then the other side then the other side a few times, then it went in to the heart of the glacier. We went into it a little bit but then I didn’t want to go in any further just in case there was a sudden drop off, or a cliff. 
We had a quick lunch. After that it was time to head back. We were walking for about 7-8 hours without stopping much. The way back down the rockfall was harder then the way up because it was harder to step down the big boulders. 
We walked by a mountain which is the biggest mountain in southern chile. It is about 4200 meters I think. You could see the top of it and it was completely snow covered. 
I felt really good when I got back because I did the whole walk. It wasn’t what I expected though. I thought it would be like going across a glacier with a few bridges across crevasses. I didn’t expect the big walk to get to the glacier. It was really hard work, but fun though. It was really beautiful weather. It is usually rainy and uncomfortable and cold weather. It was about the 4th or 5th time it has been clear this year the guide said (he was the leader the whole way).

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Devils Crater

Today we went to a national park with lots of old volcanic craters. We went to the Devils crater – the most fascinating crater of all of them. You could walk to a lookout and actually see the middle of the crater. On the walk there were a few hills and actually a few small lava tubes as well.
Lava tubes are where lava used to flow through then the top of it froze then the lava underneath flowed away.
Before going into the crater there were two crevasses, probably from when the volcano was active. Each crevasse was about five meters deep. I measured how deep it was by dropping a rock into the crevasse and counting.
In the crater it looked weird because my eyes made it look smaller than it was. It was like an illusion.
After the crater, we camped nearby. Around the campsite was an old lava flow that sheltered us from the wind.
After dinner we walked down the road and we came to a path that lead around the crater. There was not much ithe crater. We walked around until we came to a lookout. From the lookout we could see where we camped and the volcanic field. It looked black with lots of cooled lava, and the grass around was yellow.

Guanacos, skunks, foxes, choiques and condors live in the area.




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King penguins

Today we went to see King penguins!!!

We were driving down the road and we stopped at a park with penguins in it. THe park was by the coast. It was about 100m walk to get to the penguins. You could easily see where you started the walk. It was mostly downhill. You had to stand behind these wooden barriers to look at the penguins so you did not scare them away. There were roughly about thirty penguins including two baby chicks.
After a while we began to start smelling them. They smelt awful. The penguins had this yellow part on their necks and their tummy was white but their back was black. The weather was nice and calm but usually it is really windy. Imagine sitting there if it was really windy!
There was another area where there was a bench where you could sit by an inlet near the ocean. We sat there watching two penguins. We stayed still and they came closer. They dived into the water and popped up near us. I was excited.


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Tierra del Fuego

Today we drive south to an island called Tierra del Fuego which means Land of Fire. We had to go on a transporting ferry and on the ferry were cars and trucks and busses. It was really scary because all the vehicles made it look like it was going to sink. We got to get out of the car and go into these cabins on one side of the boat. Out the side we saw dolphins that were black with a white patch on their back. We saw about a dozen dolphins. Two leaped completely out of the water. They were small – about one metre long.

When we got to the island we drove around. It has yellow grass and lots of sheep. We saw more guanacos and a grey fox, and a lot of birds. There are not many trees on the island because it is very very windy.

Earlier today we saw lots of lava fields and volcanic plugs (remains of old volcanoes).



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Today I saw two armadillos…………………………………………………………………….and I will now tell you the story of how we saw them.Well,we were driving down the road and we saw an armadillo.As soon as we saw it we stopped to have a good look at it . We ran after the armadillo. It ran and ran until it stopped at a barrier and started going though the gap between the rocks. We got to pat it, and it felt hard and soft and leathery.

Afterwards we went to a place called the Cave of Hands. Along the path there were lots of cave paintings mainly they were hands but there were a few animals like guanacos and choiques. One hand had six fingers.

The next day we stopped at a park and we walked for two kilometers to a shelter. There were three penguins under the shelter’s wooden floor. On he beach there were thousands of Magellanic penguins. There were adults and babies, there were also a few in the water.




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