Cascade climbers

Trip Start Jan 23, 2008
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Trip End May 23, 2008


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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today, we headed upriver to the home of Don Marco, a Shuar man who is the proprietor of a 300 meter waterfall tumbling from the hills above the Yauppi. He and Florentino showed us even more medicinal plants as we made our way up the steep slopes.

Because the jungle is so thick, we could hear the waterfall long before we could see it. The water was cool and pure, and we took advantage of the opportunity to rinse off. On the way back, we stopped by to check out a GINORMOUS tree. Because the soil is so thin, it had massive buttressed and roots that radiated out for over a hundred feet. An one tree is not one tree. It is host to myriad other plants. The air roots of some provided for additional climbing opportunities.

When we returned to Don Marcoīs home his wife served us a typical meal consisting of wild greens and chicken wrapped in large leaves and roasted in the fire. It was DELICIOUS. Actually, all of the food we ate on the trip was great. It ranged from typical Ecuadorian dishes (rice and chicken) with lots of platanos and yucca to local meals such as tasty fresh fish served whole for breakfast. For our going away meal- caldo de armadillo, a quarter of an armadillo with shell and claws intact, served in its own broth. We actually were quite honored by this, as armadillo is only eaten about once a month, and were very impressed with all of the food we were served.

We also drank a LOT of chicha. This is the typical Shuar beverage made from fermented yucca. The woman of the home serves the chicha in a large bowl to visitors, and everyone passes it around until itīs gone. Itīs pretty intense and I was only starting to get used to it after three days.

While we ate and drank chicha, we chatted with the family and learned more about their life. Don Marco actually is one of the few Shuar men who has 2 wives. We met only one, but most of his 15 children were there. We took a family photo for them before we left, and thought we would share it with you as well.

When we returned to the village, it seemed that volleyball was the game of choice for the guys that afternoon. Bill and Florentino took on a team of locals. It was a valiant effort, but the other team ended up with the 3 liter bottle of Orange Fanta at stake.
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