An Amazon adventure
Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
16Trip End Aug 22, 2010
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Where I stayed
The lodge was basic but cosy enough. We had our own room and bathroom but no electricity, relying on candles and head lamps to see our way around at night. All of these amenities were unfortunately shared with a huge quantity of cockroaches and spiders crawling all over our stuff, Faff did not approve.
Day one was all about getting acquainted with new surroundings but there was certainly a lot of wildlife to see on the way to the lodge
The evening of the first day proved to be a little less enjoyable. The skies opened dramatically and the hardest rain I have ever seen came plummeting down. Our guide was not going to let this stop us though and insisted on leading us on a night walk through the jungle wearing only wellies and an entirely ineffective poncho. We were absolutely soaked and due to the poor conditions we only saw one tree frog and a couple of spiders. Although Adam said a tarantula fell on his head and Faff was very pleased she wasn't there to see it. We returned to the lodge to have a surprisingly good dinner but couldn't hear what our fellow adventurers were saying through the pouring rain. The evening ended with a heated game of cards led by our crazy guide Juan.
Day two started early with a decent breakfast followed by a short boat ride and a long trek through a terra firma rainforest
In the late afternoon we set out again with our ponchos and wellies for some piranha fishing with some bamboo fishing rods and a cup of meat, not expecting much success. As soon as we had located Juan's preferred fishing spot the skies opened again and in moments we were about as wet as the lagoon. Our initial fishing attempts weren't particularly successful with me feeding the piranhas much more meat than I could ever hope to get from even catching a dozen back. But Juan as ever one with nature had the magic touch and delighted in catching four or five fish of increasing size and took great pleasure in showing us their teeth and letting them jump about the canoe's floor. Faff was gutted we weren't allowed to eat them. After this still in the pouring rain Juan insisted we go Caiman hunting until another of our group suggested perhaps we return to the lodge and get dry for once. Juan grudgingly agreed.
Day three we set out to a local community which involved yet another long boat journey down the Cuyabeno River on the way we saw yet more monkeys, a sloth and giant anaconda. We arrived at the community, met Nacho the pet monkey and proceeded to the small plantation at the back of the community to dig up some Yukas which would would go on to turn into a kind of pancakey flat bread thing, very yummy. After that we had a go at shooting an orange with a blow dart gun, although our darts were not lined with frog poison and we had varying degrees of success at hitting the orange from 5 metres!
In the evening we went to the lagoon for the first rainless night, saw a couple more dolphins and some toucans on the way. The sunset was lovely and the water almost black due to the runoff from the rainforest floor but very pleasant and warm to swim in. Although there are caimans, anacondas and piranhas around, apparently - so says Juan - they are used to the noises of humans and canoes and don't come to investigate, although perhaps we were just lucky. As night descended the bats came out and we went in search of caimans. Eventually we found quite a large one chilling out in the mangroves. After dinner at the lodge, Juan took us around the garden to see some more tree frogs, some spiders and tarantulas.
On the final morning we were up early for wildlife spotting as the sun came up. We saw countless more birds and monkeys which were enjoying their breakfast. After a couple of hours we went back to the lodge for our own breakfast and then it was time to pack and start the return journey to Quito.