This past July, we stayed at the beautiful, fantastical Treehouse Lodge in the Peruvian Amazon jungle. There are many treehouse bungalows to choose from there… and Andrew, in the true spirit of adventure, secured for us the very highest treehouse, 67 feet off the ground. Also it was the very tiniest.
This was our home for four days and three nights.
On the evening of our last full day at the lodge, we returned from an excursion and went to relax in our treehouse. We realized the view of the sunset in the jungle was incredible. But suddenly Andrew announced to me… we were not alone:
Yes, yes, it’s all very pretty… but do you see our visitor right there on the screen… INSIDE the treehouse WITH us?
At this point I released a piercing shriek. We then began scrambling about, trying to figure out how to get that tarantula out of our tiny treehouse. All our activity seemed to alarm the tarantula, who also began to quickly move about.
Now it’s on the wall by the bed! AHHHHHHH!
Now… this wasn’t our first encounter with tarantulas in the Amazon. This was our third day in the jungle, and we’d seen them on our expeditions, where Biologist Amy informed me that the bite of a tarantula wouldn’t kill you — it’d just hurt a lot (oh, is that all?). We’d also seen another couple find a tarantula in their bungalow, and they’d caught it in their wastebasket (which have lids) and had brought it to the staff at the Lodge… and the staff were completely unconcerned. It’s just another interesting part of the experience. They had a, “Oh, that’s nice,” kind of attitude about it. They’re pretty used to these things, no big deal.
So, because we knew tarantulas wouldn’t kill us (hmmmm, unless that was a lie to make us relax…), and because we knew the staff at the Lodge wouldn’t help us remove it, we took matters into our own hands.
The tarantula is now trapped in that basket I’m holding against the wall. It is very upset. As am I.
Andrew will want you to know that it is he that trapped the tarantula against the wall in that basket. He just made me hold the basket there while he took a picture.
Also, take note of our handy headlamps. Super-useful for evening activities such as this.
Anyhow… just because the tarantula was trapped, didn’t mean our problems were over. Ohhhhh no. They were only just beginning. Because now that tarantula was miffed, and there wasn’t really a clear way to get it out of the bungalow at this point. So we kind of just freaked out and dropped the basket.
I imagine the tarantula is saying to us, “You terrible little f_ckers.”
After this, things start to get really hazy in my memory, because our level of panic was rising. I’m pretty sure I was screaming periodically as we scurried about after the angry tarantula. At one point Andrew directed me to open the door and venture out onto our little landing, so that he could usher the tarantula outside. When I got outside onto the itty bitty landing for our 67-foot-high treehouse, my handy headlamp shone on this:
Why hello there.
A second tarantula, just inches from my face. I screamed again… this time even more horrified. Because at this point, I was feeling like they were everywhere and HOW ON EARTH WOULD WE SLEEP THAT NIGHT?????
The level of pandemonium in our little treehouse increased a trillion-fold. Somehow in the panic, Andrew managed to effectively chuck both tarantulas out into the jungle, away from the treehouse. I couldn’t help but feel like there were probably a LOT more… so we vowed to not think about it anymore, and we decided our evening of relaxation was finished.
We headed to the main lodge, where we found our guide Willy hanging out, practicing guitar. Andrew let him know that he knew a few songs, so Willy asked him to take a turn on the guitar:
The music began. Another guide joined later and sang several songs too. A song that stays in my head from this evening is the Beatles’ “And I Love Her”. The songs’ haunting beauty, there in the midst of the jungle with Andrew, is one of my favourite memories of our trip.
That is one pleased-looking frog, I must say.
Naturally, I screamed yet again. This frightened the little frog, and he then jumped onto me… and SUCTIONED to me. AHHHHHHHH! More screaming… definitely more screaming. It was all just so very surprising! And plus I was thinking, um hey, aren’t Amazonian frogs poisonous? Gahhhhhhhhh
I must have scared him off because he disappeared after my blood-curdling screams ended.
And then… strangely enough, we actually slept pretty well. I would have to say, that has got to be another mystery of the Amazon.
Anyway, this particular evening… the contrast of our panic with the tarantulas, followed immediately by the sharing of music in the midst of the Amazon… it feels etched into my heart. The jungle may have been a difficult place for me to have been in… but it turned out to be one of the places I loved best, and I love that Andrew brought me there.