La amazonia, donde comimos hormigas de limon (where we ate lemon ants)Quito, Spring 2010
4 days in the Amazon. It was everything and more, it was hot, it rained, it was breathtaking. I’ve always loved jungles ever since visiting the some of the rainforests in Costa Rica. But there is a definite difference between the Amazon, and the the other rainforests I’ve visited. There were times when I wondered if I was breathing more water than air. Suprisingly, it only rained really heavily (meaning you stand out in the rain for two minutes and you’re drenched) one night. And that same night there was a huge lightening storm, similar to the one we saw in Mindo with all the heat lightening but more constant. It was an increible thing to only hear rain and only see bright flashes of light, while at the same time you know you’re surrounded by dense forest and over-sized bugs.
We started our journey on a bus, and made several stops along the way, for food, a little bit of caving, and a short hike. All in all we probably drove about 5 hours, but it actually took us almost all day. We ended the day in the port town of Misuhualli, i think thats how its spelled, pronounced miss-oo-why-ee. THis was where the hotel/jungle lodge we stayed at was based out of.
The next morning we hopped onto some motorized canoes, traveled for a couple hours and began our first walk in the true Amazon rainforest, in an animal rescue center. I don’t think I have ever sweated that much in my life. Ever. I think most of the rest of the group would agree it was agonizingly hot. Really cool to see all the animals (anacondas, ocelots, turtles, caiman, etc). Finally we arrived at our jungle lodge which was empty except for us and a group from Boston College. We ate a huge lunch(which of course began with thick hot soup), swam in the river (Rio Napo, the largest river in Ecuador) then headed off to visit a Quechua family. We were able to see their plantation, all the children running around, and shared a traditional meal. Overall it was a good, if brief and somewhat awkward experience. Made me think. That night after a dinner of more hot soup and starch (for the record it was delicious), a shaman visited us and performed a cleansing. The shaman was still drunk from the sugar cana alcohol from the the previous cleansing. Again interesting, but I’m not sure what I thought about it.
The next day we hiked in the morning, saw how indigenous people make baskets and traps out the world around them, how they communicate within the forest, etc. Very fun, would have enjoyed doing more hikes. After lunch (of a whole tilapia) we made rafts. Huck Finn style. Ok the guides did a lot of the work, but still we helped. War ensued between the two boats, mild injuries occured, but everyone survived. I tried to spend most of it just floating in the water. We may or may not have sung disney songs and named our boat, Hernan es mas sexy que Fabio (our two guides).
Day four consisted of waking up early visitng two other animal reserve/zoos and trying not to pass out on the way back so I could see the beautiful Andean scenery on the way back. Photo count for this trip was ridiculous, more photos than I ever taken in my life : 819. What now. Maybe I should put the camera down every once and a while.
Anyways, didn’t go anywhere this weekend (not to say there weren’t adventures) but will for sure be going somewhere next weekend.
If you read this much, I’m impressed with your attention span, now here are some photos.
You May also like:
- Getting to Class in the Amazon Takes More Than a School Bus (Tiputini Part 1)
- Prehistoric Leaf-Eating Cow-Stomach Birds and Other Incredible Tales (Tiputini Part 2)
- Un Camino En Mi Barrio: A Walk In My Neighborhood
- Epic Battle for a Sea Lion Placenta (video blog)
- Last Andean Adventure–Laguna Quilotoa