I keep having to use the same photo for ecuador!! But for this entry its actually where we were!! Have been crap at updating this so far (we're now in Peru!) but thought I should add updates place by place so that its not one mammoth post! These things take ages tho, so its hard to find enough time to get to the internet (Jen i dnt know how you did it so much!).
The three day trip into the jungle was one of the most amazing trips of my life! Had to fly to coca, in the smallest plane ive ever been in, jus 30 seats. Met our naturalist guide Andrea, and then had a two hour boat ride up the Rio Napo. Could already feel the humidity, but not as hot as I expected... yet! Got first look at the jungle scenery from the boat which was speeding along, then pulled up to a "dock" which was basically just a bank of mud! Then had a 10 min walk on a wooden walkway through the jungle, couldnt really look around tho coz it was really slippery and had to watch your feet the whole time! Then for the final stint of the journey had to get in a small dugout canoe, only one seat wide and were paddled to the lodge. So peaceful and amazing scenery! (will try to get some photos up at some point) La Selva lodge is set on the edge of a lake, and is serious luxury considering your in the middle of the rainforest!!! Was maybe expecting cold showers, holes in the ground and small shacks, but was hot water, nice bathrooms, amazing bamboo and palm huts, plus huge dining room and lush communal area that looked out over the lake!
During our three days we went to a butterfly farm; a traditional house of a family of the quichoa tribe, where we played with their pet the cucucho, saw his small daughter who was obsessed with technology(!), learned about their traditional ways of living (Altho they dnt use these ways anymore as they need to earn money to buy food at markets) and then had a go on the blow pipe!; Had a long trek through the jungle with our native guide at the front with his paddle and machete; saw capuchin monkeys, MASSIVE long lines of leaf cutter ants (Dude you would have loved them!), loads of frogs, insects and lizards; Went kayaking on the lake and saw a really big troop of spider monkeys making their way around the banks looking for fruits and seeds, got about 4ft away from them at some points!; went fishing for piranhas in the lake (no-one caught anything tho :( ); went looking for caymans in the canoe at night with just a massive torch; went up a canopy tower 45m high to see the jungle from above the canopy... AMAZING but I was sh*tting myself being SO high!!; had a night walk where we saw loads of insects, frogs and even a Tarantula, which mark stuck a stick in the hole just to bring it out and see it... HUGE!! plus some of the nicest food that we can expect for the whole trip!!
We were lucky and managed to experience all climates of the jungle... when we arrived was cloudy and humid, second day teh sun had burnt off the clouds and it was scorching hot, second night and third morning, absolute torrential tropical storm!! then luckly was nice weather again so we didnt get soaked when leaving on the fourth day! Our hut managed to leak the night of the storm so it looked like mark had wet the bed the next day!! Luckily we got moved to a different one for the last nite!
It really doesnt do it justice describing on here how amazing it was!