Ruffin' In The Jungle Business

Trip Start Jan 08, 2007
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Trip End Oct 01, 2007


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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Made bus journey from Quito to Tena through scenery to take your breath away. We passed by lakes and through grand valleys via the sketchiest dirt road I´ve seen so far on a mission to find Dan and begin our big jungle adventure. The last email from Dan explained that maybe he wasn´t quite Ray Mears yet, he was having a little trouble finding food at present so maybe bringing a bit of money may be wise and that all the locals all think that he´s a "Loco Gringo" hence his Survival guide Victor and his entire family are doing a lot to help and keep an ever watchful eye over him for the time being. This filled me with a bit more confidence that we wouldn´t all get eaten by Boas, starve to death and we would prob get a lot of contact with the indiginous Amazonian people.
Just as this road changed into a tarmaced road we got held up by a sprite truck which, had bailed and shed its entire stock onto a filed of cows. The rescue attempt used a digger to carve a new road up the slope and 2 lorries pulling in seperate directions to try and salvage what was left of the truck. This looked like a pretty minor accident with no csualties except the mangled truck and many plastic bottles strewn everywhere.
We got to Tena met Dan had Tilapia ( a local fish), bought wellies to prevent snake bites then mooched through a market to pick up supplies: Wild Boar, Plantains, apples, Starfruit and rice then onto the local village of Pano with Nixon (one of the jungle guides).
On arrival some of the local women insisted we drink "Chicha" a drink made from Yuca and fermented over a few days. It kinda tasted like a alcoholic cider type drink quite tasty. Next was a quick wander through the village trailed by numerous children who took a great interest in Camille and helped carry her mountains of stuff. We got held up by a group of men who again offered us a drink. This was "Drago" the local fire water a kind of locally brewed legal moonshine made from sugar cane and it burned all the way down!
After collecting Dans bags and plastic for this roof we caught a short bus trip and then the adventure began.
After a 40min trek through the jungle (la Selva) cutting across the river a few times we arrived at a camp made by Nixon and some of the village folk. The construction took about a year and 10 people to complete; a truly amazing building. This small camp is the 1st stop off point used when people taken on guided treks. Dan collected some jungle fruit which kinda like a mango but tasted like a white grape. My face was sticky for hours afterwards even after trying to wash it off in the river!
After a quick dip me and Nixon prepared a dish named "Mas Amora" which ithink roughly translates as rich meal. This consisted of Wild Boar (boiled in salty water) with grated Plantain thrown in, Yuka (bioiled) and fresh tea from leaves picked from a tree growing near the shelter(apparently this helps to keep mossies at bay).
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