April 30 – Jungle Treks

We awoke this morning to the sound of crowing roosters, right outside our cabana!  It also rained very heavy during the night, but the sun is out today.  During breakfast, we were told about the day’s activities – a hike in the jungle in the morning, and then a tour of several spots within the indigenous village of Ahuano, located behind the resort. Mosquito repellant and roober boots were the necessities for the morning hike.  After breakfast we loaded into the canoes for a half hour ride upriver to a jungle sanctuary.

We unloaded and walked up to a small shed where we were given a short talk about the dangers that awaited us.  Spiders, biting bugs, and the like.

  There were two trails to choose from, the easy way and the advanced trail.  We were to split up into groups at the top of the first climb.  Along the way we saw many bugs, Tarzan type vines hanging from way up high, and tons of jungle vegetation.

At one point, we came to a deep ravine that we had to cross on a sort of zip line with a basket hanging from it.  We all made it safely across….

Next we had to cross a suspension bridge.

After a very steep climb, we broke into two groups, those that didn’t want to go further into the jungle, and those of us that were definitely into the hike.  After splitting off, Wilson led us down a not very defined trail to the base of a very large tree.  This tree was sacred to the indigenous peoples and was dated at over 900 years old.  After a short prayer at the base, we were allowed to investigate further…

Once back with the others, Wilson “had a surprise for us”.  We were going rafting on the Napo River on homemade balsa rafts!  We floated down the river on these rafts that barely held us out of the water.  At one point, Wilson tried to push me off the raft, but I wasn’t going in alone and grabbed his life jacket and pulled him in with me!  Eventually, a bunch of us ended up in the river and a water fight ensued. By the end of the ride, most of us were thoroughly soaked.

After the raft trip, we were served another delicious meal and then we all headed out into the village of Ahuano to investigate some of the many features it had to offer.  Giselle and I visited a local Balsa carver, and then headed down to a butterfly farm.  Then we were shown a local pottery artisan who made her pots from clay found locally.  It was all very interesting.

After a very long and adventurous day, we were treated to another sumptuous meal and headed to bed knowing that the next day would be another adventure……