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out of QUito, into the jungle

ECUADOR | Monday, 30 January 2006 | Views [2450] | Comments [2]

que bien

que bien

Well, this is the second attempt to compose this entry (first time the computer crashed before I was able to save), so it´s going to be abbreviated...

--finally leave Tena, show up at the Terminal 7am, no joke 5 minutes later we are on a direct bus to Tena (despite the varied info we received regarding if and when direct buses left quito).. this is the organized chaos of buses in ecuador (and prob latin america)

--about 2 hours into our 4 hour ride, 8 tall french guys all with kayaks board our already very full bus, kayaks get strapped successfully to the roof. to this day (4 days later) we are still bumping into this posse in bars, on trails in different towns....

--1 hour from Tena we are stuck in a tunnel (no. 6 or 7 tunnels on the way to banos). There was just a landslide and they are cleaning it up.. one hour later, everyone applauses and we pass successfully. --- no actually this was the ride to banos, i got confused..

-- the ride is amazing, rainining the whole way, the route from puyo to banos is known as the avenue of the waterfalls.. imagnie that if you can.it was dense, lush, beautiful. -- this is also out of order, this happened when we left tena and headed to banos

--arrive in Tena, the town is nothing special, spectacular views which we relish from our hostal on the hill, limoncocha, in cozy hammocks. we spend the day scoping our the town, and find an agency (recommended by our spanish teacher in quito), Amargonchi tours. after talking to the overzealous agent, we decide on the fuerte, fuerte option.

--the next day is incredible. in short, we have a 23 yr old guide who grew up with his family in this section of the napo region of the jungle (rio napo is a tributary to the amazon), they built cabanas, etc about 12 years ago, and now run a successful eco-ethno tour partnership... leading jungle tours, teaching people about the medicinal plants, tropical fruits, traditions of their culture.

-- the morning activity was an hour hike out to a lagoon, where we had our own private natural waterpark activities. the whole time is was raining, from a drizzle to a downpour.. intensifying the jungle experience to a new level. nothing short of beautiful and amazing. we hike with our tubes about 3-4 of the way, and rode them back along the river, through class 3 and 4 rapids... cold and wet, but laughing the whole time...

---lunch was of course traditional ecudorian, soup, rice, meat, juice. delicious.

--- afternoon activity included hiking up several waterfalls along a river, with our awesome knee high rubber boots. sometimes freestyle, sometimes with the aid of a rope, survivor style (if I have to make an artificial reference). intense, fun, we hiked up up up, and then down down downm, through the mud, the dense obscure jungle and back to the cabinas... never passing a single person along the way.. only the 2 families who live in the area.´.. the area we were in was known as primary jungle, bc it is protected, and although a few people still live there, they are not allowed to cultivate any of the land...´--- oh almost forgot the face paint (see photos), before entering the jungle, we asked permission by having our faces painted with a local dye which came from a fruit along the trail...

--dinner we ate by candlelight (no electricity on the property), listening to Quecha songs on the guitar, played by an older brother, trying to learn phrases along the way....

-- we leave the cabanas around 7, hike back to the main road to meet our camionetta.. and return to Tena croonning to the best of the 80s CD blaring from the car stereo. nothing like belinda carlisle and huey lewis and to make feel right at home.

... wow I left out a lot, but this was by far a highlight of my trip.. and today as I write from banos, our guide eduardo showed up while we were eating breakfast.. turned out he came to party here for the weekend, unknown to us.. and so the stories continue...

Tags: Adventures

Comments

1

I can't wait to see these pictures.

  Daniel Jan 31, 2006 8:41 AM

2

hi there
i just read your journal and was interested in finding out more about your trip to the jungle. who did you use? and how much did it cost where do you find these people to take you out to the jungle and experience all it has to offer ..

  rita Mar 8, 2007 5:34 AM

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