Exciting times, Part II

Banos Travel Blog

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So, day two in the jungle. There were huge spiders everywhere. For some reason, I wasn´t scared. I think the difference was being out in nature, versus feeling clean and safe in a home and seeing a big F-ing spider out of the corner of your eye. But interesting to think about how safe overall I felt in the jungle, and since I´ve been in Ecuador.

We had a great breakfast early in the morning: crepes (pancakes), yogurt, fresh fruit salad, etc. all food that I love. We started the day by hopping into a canoe down at the river, a traditional type of canoe that the local people used, and going to an indigenous village. I think it was called Copacocha. Life seemed very simple (take that as you may) in the village, with children playing outside and the women making their money through jewelry made from seeds and plants in the forest. I picked up a pretty cool bracelet and had my face painted with a fruit used for the dyes in pottery making.

Most of the group left after lunch, including Phil, so it was just me, Juan the guide, and Katinka and Aunscar, the big awkward, yet lovable Germans. Our first adventure was to rappel down the side of a cliff basically. By this point I´d almost shit myself so many times out of fear that it was a piece of cake. I banged up my knee, but made it down safely with Juan´s little instruction, and then we were on our way through the river to a waterfall. It was a small waterfall, but the water was pounding, and we each got a good back massage and then ate some Oreos...they have a lot of American junk food down here. Our group was lucky on that walk because we came across a lot more wildlife than we´d seen previously: a cave with bats (wow!), tons of mariposas (butterflies), a blind snake, a tiny frog, walking sticks, ornate hoppers (cool insects)...and incredible walking palms (look it up), pornographic palm (with phallic roots), rubber trees, and yummy fruit that we tried: tomatos de arboles (tree tomatoes), white avocado, and a tree with dragon´s blood, which is medicinal and used to treat a number of different things. That was my favorite thing to see, the dragon´s blood. It actually looked like dark red blood coming out of the tree, and then when you rubbed it on your skin, it turned into a white cream. Really incredible stuff. Juan told us that that is one they try to keep a secret from the drug companies...doesn´t surprise me.

Our last morning in the jungle was rainy but beautiful and probably my favorite. We hiked to a place where we undressed into our swimming suits and swam through a narrow passageway which opened up into a big pool and waterfall. There was a big tree to climb to jump into the pool, which was so much fun.

Then we packed up, and despite my bruises, scratches and bug bites, I was sad to leave the jungle. I hope everyone gets to experience going somewhere similar..

jip0890 says:
You go girl....I'll stay home and live vicariously through your adventures. Love you, Aunt Judy
Posted on: Jul 22, 2006
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ok, so writing this quite a long time after the fact, but I´ll do the best I can.

Baños. Returned from the jungle to the streets of the town, full of reggaeton music blasting and ¨Shakira, Shakira¨. it is quite a place.

I went with Juan, the guide from my rainforest tour, up a big hill in order to get a better view of the volcano that is nearby, Tungurahua. We talked with the pigs on the farms on the way up, and picked some granadilla fruits from the trees (so tasty). And as luck would have it, we started hearing loud booms. Tungurahua was erupting, for the first time in 8 years! Really exciting stuff.

photo by: timbo