Peru… and Bears!

While camping this weekend, I had enough time to run through the entire Peru guidebook. One down, many, many to go. In way cooler news, Bears!
Bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear, bear! Times 7. We saw seven bears in five different encounters on our three day camping trip. Only twice were the bears feeling photogenic.

With the level of bear encounter discussion that occurs in Theresa’s family (with complete lack of first hand experience unless you count from a car) It was really interesting to see how they reacted to your presence. They really are much less confrontational than I’ve been lead to believe. In every instance, they were either completely indifferent to our presence or scurried off very quickly, they never found us the least bit interesting or threatening. The only time I was even slightly concerned was when we stumbled across a mother and her two cubs. They moseyed right across the trail without even glancing at the noisy people. Even the bear I got closest to, only 20 feet to my right, rushed away when Theresa said “Jeff, bear!” I never saw it, only heard it run off.

But don’t you all start chasing bears now that I’ve said this! Since bears are cool, anyone else have a bear experience to share? Your regularly scheduled travel blog posting will resume in a day or two.

9 Replies to “Peru… and Bears!”

  1. Oddly enough we just finished watching a show on Animal Planet called “Maneaters” and it was about how wolves and bears have become more comfortable with human interactions (and vice versa). But this has also led to increased attacks. They showed some recreated bear attacks and went through the “how to respond to different bears”- play dead with Grizzlies, be confrontational with Blacks and never ever run.

  2. Oh, we’re not planning to take any of the guidebooks with us. We’re just using them right now to get an idea of the places we find interesting (they’re borrowed from the library, not bought). Though we use the Internet extensively, these days we’re spending almost all of our free time in the backwoods hiking and camping our way through my guidebook. Not so much Internet access there, so in the tent at night and on the drives to all the hike sites, the books are the best thing we’ve got. And I have to say that I actually find marking all the pages of interest somewhat easier than bookmarking a zillion web pages (I’m a pen and paper girl at heart), though when I find a place in the guidebook that does catch my attention, I then end up on the Internet looking for more and better info.

  3. Actually! Pretty relevant to this post. In February I was hiking the 4 day Inca Trail. On the 3rd day our guide let some of us slip off early right after breakfast. I headed off all alone. As I rounded a corner up the trail, I turn my head and see a small brown bear! At first I was excited and quickly whipped out my camera to take photos. Then I realized the bear could actually attack. A Porter came up and made me wait as the bear crossed the trail. I felt pretty awesome after seeing that bear. Especially when the guides said it is very rare to see one on the trail and it is a good luck sign. Great experience on the Inca Trail. I hope you are doing the entire 4 day hike.

  4. Wow, I had no idea there were bears in that area. That sounds like a really cool experience. Maybe we’ll get lucky too. We’ve decided to do the entire 4-day hike and are very much looking forward to it. I think it will be amazing.

  5. Not exactly in the bear category…but still a dangerous wild animal….

    so, I rounded a sharp bend while riding my bike on Tophill Road at Iroquois Park this evening and came face-to-face with an 8-point buck. What made it sort of scary was that he was on the inner apex of the turn, as was I. I saw him just as I rounded the bend..which was exactly enough time to stop before plowing him over (though I would have gotten the worst of that collision. He seemed agitated, so I unclipped, stopped, and then rolled my bike back a bit and across the road.

    I watched him for 2 minutes or so – he stared at me most of this time, before he ran across the road and bound into the brush. I later saw a doe, as well, but she was clear across a field.

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