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Mat and Vendy's travels

I´m not a celebrity-but get me out of here!

ECUADOR | Monday, 14 July 2008 | Views [1454] | Comments [1]

by river

by river

Arriving in the jungle, after taking local buses from Quito was quite nice. After just an hour on the bus we saw an accident where aa bus had been hit by a lorry going the other way on a very narrow road in the mountains and in terribly foggy and wet conditions, and all the passengers were standing around behind it so luckily no one was hurt.

Our jungle lodge was surprisingly comfortable though there was no electricity. They brought round oil lamps in the evenings - it was quite romantic but after they told us it was tarantula season we wished we had nice bright lights!

Our first excursion was to see how the local indian tribe lived, and they made a local drink for us and showed us how they make the pottery that they sell in the local town. Then we used their blow gun to shoot at a parrot (don't worry it wasnt alive!)

On day two we took motorized canoes from the lodge upriver some way and then hiked to the latas waterfalls in the morning and then went swimming in the pool at the bottom. It was cold but very refreshing! Laura cut her foot on a rock at the bottom, making her casualty number one. Then when getting dressed after Rob out on his shirt and started shouting and getting his shirt off again. He said something bit him but none of us could see anything. A few minutes later his back started swelling up and he had lots of angry welts appearing, making him casualty two in a much more stylish way. Later we learnt that the bites were from fire ants! Never heard of them but don't fancy a bite from one of those angry fellas!

Getting back to the lodge was fun, we went tubing on the river back - basically you just sit in a big tube and float back on the current. It was a relaxing and different experience!

Later that day we went on a jungle walk and were introduced to lots of jungle plants and insects. We saw leaf cutter ants in action and our guide picked up a soldier ant that we could see biting his thumb trying to attack him! It was nice to see them walking in their lines through the jungle carrying the leaves, in their own environment. The guide told us that without the leaf cutter ants there would be no rainforests-that they carry nutrients underground and the plants tap into the fungus that the ants grow to feed themselves.

We also saw a big scorpion spider and Congo Ants - they were about an inch long and their bite is really not nice - apparently. I´d prefer not to know. Then we were taken to see the vines that carry water up to the tree tops and shown lemon ants, so called because the locals say that they taste like lemon. Well, we tried them and it was a bit like eating sherbert! They made your tongue tingle! I only ate two, still being a little full after lunch! The last thing we saw before leaving the jungle was a black wasp, which on closer inspection was a conga ant with wings. That was quite enough insects for me for one day.

But the worst was still to come, at dinner time there was an orb web spider by the dinner area, it looked pretty but was quite big. A waiter told me they aren´t dangerous and even posed very close to it, pretending to eat it while i took a photo! -

Then, after dinner someone found a tarantula in the comunal area, it was massive (to me!) but the local expert picked it up and told us about it and a few of the people on our trip even held it. I decided to pass, it being close to bed time and worried that I would find another one in the room!

We didnt get much sleep that night anyway, not because of spiders or insects but it started to rain at about ten o'clock and didnt stop until morning and I have never experienced rain like it. I thought it would wash the lodges and all of us away. Luckily it didnt, and it even stopped in time for us to take our stuff to the bus to move on to our next stop - Banos.  

Tags: amazon, fire ants, indians, jungle, lemon ants, spiders, tarantulas, tubing



Brother, that was pretty fun to wach this website tough I hardly recognized you - slim, sporty like a chap from somekind o' Oxford university sportleague or something:)See you soon!
Zoltan Batka

  Zoltan Batka Jul 18, 2008 5:34 PM

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