Trek to the Amazon Jungle

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
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Trip End Jan 25, 2009


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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Monday, September 4, 2006

The last four days have been phenomenal to say the least. Taking the journey out to the Amazon Jungle was everything I expected and more. Being away from cities etc. has allowed me to return to good health, even though I suffered from a 24 hour bout of the runs on the second morning of being out in the jungle.

Friday, 1st September

We awoke early to attend to packing and a whole-hearted breakfast. Once again, I returned to Quito's International Airport to board the 40 minute flight to Coca. Coca is a small town on the fringe of the Amazon Rainforest... nothing spectacular but very hot and humid.

On arrival in Coca, we transferred to trucks to Cocas pier where we caught a low-level boat (similar to the ones in Malaysia) to a remote beach. The trip was beautiful, with the forest becoming increasingly dense as we progressed.

We walked through primary rainforest for about 15 minutes before boarding canoes which took us to our home for the next 3 nights, La Selva (internet site www.laselvajunglelodge.com). The canoe trip took us through narrow water ways with tangled vines, lots of animal noises and shallow waters.

La Selva Lodge is absolutely spectacular, situated on the banks of a huge lagoon. Shaun and I were totally taken aback by the beautiful cabins, totally made from natural materials. The location itself is truly spectacular with very simple yet comfortable facilities. The water for the showers is pumped from the lagoon.

On arrival, we were welcomed with a refreshing juice and snacks.

At 4.30 we went on our first excursion... a nature walk through the rainforest where we saw a brown snake, spider, milipedes and art colonies.

For dinner, we had lamb, potatoes, salad, apple pie and brocoli soup.

Our local guide, Luis (from Quito) gave us a thorough insight into the local environment and our location... about 350km east of Quito. Naturally, I was totally exhausted and slept extremely well through the night with an abundance of animal noises. Amazing stuff.

Saturday, 2nd September

I awoke to terrible stomach pains and rushed to the toilet where I sat for half an hour due to a terrible bout of diarrhoea. Luckily, this lasted only 24 hours.

In the morning, we walked to a bird tower where we spent several hours enjoying bird watching. The indigenous guide, Rodriguez was excellent in giving us close up views of a wide array of birds. He was a natural at photography and assisted me in getting some excellent close up shots of the natural fauna. It was terribly hot and humid... 85%.

At 4, our group went for a canoe trip on the lagoon where we fished. I did remarkably well, catching a large cat fish and baby piranha with very sharp teeth. On catching the cat fish, I terrified Sasha because I nearly shook the boat over.

My appetite returned by 7 where we had yet another delicious dinner. The service has been absolutely first class. Feel like a king here.

Sunday, 3rd September

We had a pancakes for breakfast and enjoyed looking at a sloth quite close to the lodge.

In the morning, we had another canoe ride to the other side of the lagoon where we disembarked and walked to a local village for a cultural insight. Whilst interesting, this visit was nowhere as spectacular as the other ones Ive done this year (Malaysia, Vietnam). There was a mother and child who looked as though she wasnt really interested in having us there. I did well on shooting the blow pipe into a pineapple. The village treated us to local delicacies including fish, rice and potatoe. Being a rainforest, it bucketed down for several hours as we walked back to the lodge. Lucky for the poncho!

Late afternoon, Luis treated us to a tour of the butterfly cage where he taught us about the full butterfly cycle. There were some huge butterlflies here.

For dinner, we were treated to a scrumptious chicken pizza and chips.

I have been sleeping very well in this part of the world... no noisy traffic. Im absolutely loving being amongst nature here in the Ecuadorian side of the Amazon.

Monday, 4th September

Our Amazon experience has come to an end. At 6am, we boarded our canoes, walked through the rainforest, and caught our 3 hour boat ride back to Coca. We boarded our 11.10am flight and was back in Quito by lunch time... where Julio, our Gap Guide was waiting. Everything on this tour has gone so efficiently, and was a memorable experience. I can highly recommend the La Selva Lodge for the service was first class.

We returned to our Quito Hotel where we enjoyed a $1.50 lunch of chicken, rice and beans.

We caught our local bus to Banos for our next adventure. On arrival at Banos, we were herded into a cattle truck and escorted to our hotel.

The last 4 days have been very unique, and satisfying to say the least.
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