Day 45: Jungle Trek
Poptun Travel Blog› entry 60 of 120 › view all entries
Letâ€™s start with the bad bit: the jungle trek was an utter disappointment! Iâ€™m afraid we made a big mistake freeing up our itinerary to participate.
The trip to the overnight camp was a gruesome 6 hours of horseback riding. Once again I was sitting on a horse which looked as if it could collapse any minute (which it nearly did, actually) and the animal just did not have any sense of rhythm at all. And I donâ€™t claim to be an expert rider, but this animal was just uncontrollable. It would only walk if it had the tail of the guideâ€™s horse in front of its nose, otherwise it would just stop dead in its tracks, and no matter what you tried (shouting, hitting, kicking, stroking, kissing) it would not move. The animal would just do whatever it wanted, which meant five steps walking, then eight steps in trot, then three steps walking again, five steps trotting - very, very tiresome.
The trip itself would have been beautiful actually. Just the three of us, plus a guide, plus a pack mule, walking through a stunning forest full of blooming flowers. Definitely something I would have enjoyed if I had had a better horse.
Our travbuddy, a Dutch girl named Nicole, had some difficulties enjoying her trip as well. During one of the breaks she went for a loo-stop behind a tree, and came back running and screaming, as she was literally covered with thousands of tiny insects. They seemed to be tiny spiders crawling over her trousers, and they proved quite persistent little buggers.
Only when we had arrived at the camp we recognised the insects for what they were: ticks. And by then they had dug into her skin by the hundreds. Fortunately they were very little, so quite easy to remove (and our guide Fernando was more than happy to help her undress and pluck them off her body - Nicole didnâ€™t seem overly happy with his â€˜helpâ€™ though). Robbel and I also found several ticks on our ankles and legs, which we quickly removed. For the next five days we would still occassionally find ticks on our bodies - not something that made me particularly happy. I hate ticks!
The camp wasnâ€™t really the jungle camp that had been promised to us, but rather a little shack on a piece of farmland, next to a farm. Worst of all, the place was accessible by road and less than 2 hours driving from the finca - we had just spent 6 hours on a terrible horse to get there. OK, six hours of horse back riding isnâ€™t too bad, but the day after tomorrow weâ€™d have to travel those same six hours back as well!
The shed used to be a very nice place, where you could sit in the evening shielded from rain and wind, however, after the farmer whose land the campsite is on got divorced, his wife had set fire to the shed, so now we had to make do with a little cover which hardly provided any shelter in case it would rain.
And rain it did. Weâ€™d wanted a tour to the rainforest, well, we received the rain part allright. And it was only after the rain started that we noticed our tent was leaking. It was bad enough that we had to sleep with three people plus luggage in a way too small tent, but now we also had to be careful not to let anything touch the sides of the tent or the water would come pouring in. Just why had I left my own tent back at the finca?!?!
Obviously we didnâ€™t get much sleep at night.