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Sometimes things happen.

Jungly

ECUADOR | Monday, 17 September 2007 | Views [1463] | Comments [5]

Hidey ho, I'm so tired right now but I will try to recount the past few days as well as I can.

Thursday was jungle day. We had booked a 2-day jungle tour from Quito and spoken to Mowgli once we got to Baños (the guy who came from the jungle, remember?), yet the morning we were supposed to go, we found out that cycling was not included in our package. Charles and Monica had had similar problems on their trip to Cotopaxi, for which they used the same agency, so we were a little upset about this, but no go. Instead, we had to bus down to the Hola Vida reservation with two American women who managed to talk about listening to songs on shuffle on mp3-players for about 20 minutes straight in ridiculous Valley-girl accents. Ok, they seemed very nice, but sitting in the bus for about 2 hours without being able to tune out their conversation took its toll on my sanity.

The first thing we did when we arrived at Hola Vida was to take a little walk through the jungle with a guide named Sebastian who came from an indigenous group in the area. He was an interesting guy, having run away from home at the age of 12 and gone to university in Germany among other things. Plus, he let us swing on a vine. The coolest thing he showed us, however, was the Hola Vida waterfall that we got to swim in, which is something I've always wanted to do, but never had the chance to. The water was perfect, and though letting the water pound your back was a bit harsher than the massage that Sebastian likened it to, it still felt pretty good.

The rest of our time at the reserve was spent with another guide, Clide. He let us try alcohol made from sugar cane (not rum), took us for a night walk in the forest, made bracelets from plant fibers, showed us natural pigments which we gladly drew all over ourselves with, took us canoing, walked with us to a lookout point where we could see different rivers that later join with the Amazon and, together with the other guides, made some of the best food we've had so far (which says a lot, because we've eaten a lot of good food in Ecuador). I loved the jungle, with its humidity, warmth, vegetation and most of all, its hammocks. Ok, so they're not a natural feature of the jungle, but they were very comfy.

One letdown during this tour though, was our visit to an indigenous community. Basically, we watched a woman make a clay pot while Clide explained the process to us, stared at the indigenous people who were also sitting there with us while they went on with their usual conversations and then we looked at some handicrafts and bought ourselves bracelets. The whole experience felt extremely intrusive and... weird.

We got back to Baños yesterday evening, very muddy and painted, but content. We were even more content after having spent another evening at the hot springs, even though it was a bit crowded this time. The town was full of people and music as it was Saturday night, but after having soaked in the warm water we were too tired to do anything else but go to bed.

This morning we took a bus to Ambato and from there boarded the bus that was to take us to Cuenca 7 hours later. However, about 3/4 of the way there, the bus broke down and we were stranded by the side of the road. Luckily, we got a ride on a pickup to a town on the way (by the way, riding on on the back of a pickup is THE way to travel) and from there took another bus to Cuenca (and as a side note, the transportation has proved to be really easy and efficient here in Ecuador).

Upon arrival, we were persuaded by a guy from a hostel to stay there for $4 a night and it looks like we got a pretty good deal. The hostel is not only fancier than the other places where we've been staying, but it's in the old town area which we've been walking around this evening and it really is lovely. It almost feels like Europe and the calmness of a Sunday evening has been very pleasant for a bit of sightseeing.

Phew, I made it. Time for bed, methinks. Oh, unfortunately I didn't bring my camera tonight, so no photos to upload at the moment. But not to worry, they'll come soon.

Tags: Adventures

 

Comments

1

Heeej!

När kommer bilderna?

Massor av kramar!

  Mammilamman Sep 19, 2007 9:21 PM

2

Hallå där Saomita,
Det ser ut att du/ni har det jätte kul, och det gläder mig enorm mycket. Här hemma är det bra med oss, och vi gör så gott det går för att hålla oss glada och positiva.
Hörde på Rafael häromdagen när han var i Argentina, intressant och begåvad tycker jag. Hoppas att ni träffar så många olika människor som möjligt så att ni kan bilda er en mer objektiv uppfattning om landet.
Läser det du skriver alltid med glädje och en smula nostalgi.
Massor med kramar, och försätt att ha det så underbart.
Galo

  galo Sep 23, 2007 6:18 AM

3

Jag vill också se djugeln! Det lät helt underbart! Hade du rott kanot någongång innan? Det verkar kul men jag har aldrig testat, måste dock ha varit en härlig upplevelse i de omgivningarna.

Kram kram

  Erica Sep 24, 2007 1:16 AM

4

för tusan sao!!!

Du får sluta skriva så bra och vara helt duktig och göra mig än mer avundsjuk än förra gången jag var inne. Men jag tror kanske du har hittat ett yrke som skulle passa dig: Resejournalist(reporter)! Du skriver tillräckligt bra iaf och du hade nog varit tillräckligt spännande att titta på i rutan också ;)

jaja, nog om det... hoppas det går bra med bilderna och att ni får åka med fler pick-ups så att resan blir angenäm!

Ciao

  Ludde Sep 24, 2007 1:22 AM

5

Hello you!!!
I was looking around in internet and have found what you wrote about your trip to ecuador and specially the tour you did to hola vida in the rainforest area and it's nice to hear that you had a wonderful time in this reserve.you know i'm an ecuadorian guy that rightnow lives in Switzerland but i let you know that i can exactly from hola vida reserve,my parents live at the entrance of it and the cabins where you have spend the night are mine but as i am away,my parents run them...so when i've seen the photos you put in this site,i feel very happy,this is the place where i was born and grew up almost all my life and decided to write you.Clide the guide you had was my workmate because before caming here i also was a tour guide and worked for the same tuor agency for a long time.you know how small is this world!!!....wish you all the best further on.

Atte.
Edwin Amores

  Edwin Amores Oct 6, 2007 1:21 AM

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