Ecuador 2017 Day #20

August 30

By: Sierra

I cannot explain the excitement I have had waiting for the day I could finally write in the Interact trip blog. This trip has been different than the previous one, that’s for sure. Today we woke up to the noise of insects I’d rather not think about at the moment. Unlike yesterday, it wasn’t raining! I was so relieved because the weather was holding up well enough that we could go tubing. I couldn’t believe how quickly the water level changes here. Since last night the water lowered by 2 meters, maybe more. The group met at 6 AM, where we had a very delightful breakfast which consisted of soft boiled eggs, granola, yogurt, and some really juicy watermelon.

As soon as we all finished we were off to Duske Headed Parakeet where we could observe parakeets in their natural environment. It was really neat and we got a really good look at them from using binoculars. Next we headed to Santa Barbara where we watched a local lady start the process of making chicha – a very common drink used by all the cultures in the Amazon region. We also danced with a few of the local kids who showed us a few dance moves just before inviting us up with them. We got to enjoy some of the typical food they have in Santa Barbara. One being larvae beetle. Yum. The courageous souls who ate one were Eric, Emily, Chelsea, Cedar, Padn, Svetlana, Lorraine, Geoff, and Denise. Every village we have been to has locals who hand make jewelry as well as other trinkets so we had some time to admire, and if we wanted, purchase the items. It feels so nice to help out the community, since a lot of the people make a living off of it. After this, tubing took place in the Arajuno river that flows into the Napo River. We split up into 2 groups and started tubing downstream. At first, some were brave to let go of the tubes and float on their backs (life jacket were in use). By the end everyone had done that and many fun “splash” games were played, especially by Eric. The river was actually really warm, just cooler than Christina Lake. Everyone had a blast; I think it was my favourite part.

We came back to the lodge just around 2 pm where we had lunch. The menu today included fish, rice, plantains, and beans with lentils. For me, instead of fish I enjoyed heart of palm. It’s crazy to think that in palm trees there is something edible. By then everyone was exhausted but still jumped up with enthusiasm when offered a 2 ½ hour hike in the jungle. There we saw some trees that are used for making Panama hats, as well as skirts and regular jungle hats. For a small duration of the hike, one of the tour guides tried to imitate the call of a Toucan in hopes that we could see one. Although no luck, lots of us were amused with how the tour guides made a perfect call using just a leaf and blowing into it. Did we see any monkeys? Yes we did! The whole group went to an area where there was a swinging vine. Everyone tried once, but the true monkeys shined as some went for three times, showing off their skills on the vine.

Dinner was bittersweet. One of the tour guides explained that they hoped we had a great time with them and they made us a special dinner. BBQ! There was a huge variety of meat, potatoes, rice, salad, and dessert was a piece of banana with chocolate on it. I’m really excited for breakfast as it’s supposed to be special as well. I think it’s starting to hit the group that in around 24 hours we will be on our way home. This trip has brought unforgettable memories.

See you soon !