By: Andrea Dennis
Ahhhh… sigh…. after spending 4 days in la selva (the jungle), I am now nestled back in Quito wearing semi-clean clothes and a big smile on my face thinking about the past days spent in sublime nature. After a somewhat grueling overnight bus ride from Quito to Lago Agrio, where on occasion, I would wake up and see gushing rivers hundreds of feet below me, we made it to the entrance of Cuyabeno National Park. We met with our lovely driver who lives in a community in the park and our fearless guide, Washington.
We took a stunning canoe ride 2 hours into the UNSECO perserved land to our remote desintation, Jamu Lodge. That night, we took a dip in the lagoon. At first I cringed at the thought, especially after learning there is a parasite attracted to ammonium, and therefore likes to swim up unsightly parts. But by the end of the trip I couldn’t wait to cut the engine in the warm lagoon and tread water, watching crazy travelers do back flips off the canoes. The next several days included trips to a local community, a lesson in manioc bread making, a visit to a local Shaman who had been practicing since he was 12 (now 70) and late night jungle hikes complete with sightings of tarantulas, the world´s largest rodent, caymans and more. Late nights in the lodge included lots of Spanish practice and card games by candlelight, what more can you desire… oh yes, night showers in the open air facing the rain forest.
We are now back in the capitol, ready to venture out on our last day and support the economy of Quito with some serious souvenir buying. Upon return, I will fill in the blanks with a final blog… think Jerry Springer version of ¨final thoughts.¨
Ciao for now, Andrea