Day 46: Jungle Trek
Poptun Travel Blog› entry 61 of 120 › view all entries
Our guide, Fernando, wasnâ€™t really what you call a kitchen hero. Last nightâ€™s dinner really hadnâ€™t been much to write home about, but the cereal we had in the morning was just awful. Measuring the right amounts of water, powdered milk and oatmeal wasnâ€™t his greatest talent, so to say.
After breakfast we went walking into the jungle. For a couple of hours we were feeling a true Tarzan as we ploughed through the soggy jungle, climbing over (or under) fallen tree trunks all the time. But all we really did was walking. I know I shouldnâ€™t be comparing this tour with past experiences, but on the jungle tour Iâ€™d done in Bolivia we had a guide who actually talked a bit about the trees and plants that we saw along the way, but Fernando just walked on without a word all morning.
We also stopped at several caves. One of these had to be entered via a tiny entrance, crawling through a hole and then decending on a tiny rickety stepladder someone had once placed there.
Not easy, but certainly worth it. It was a beautiful cave full of stalacmites and stalactites. And bats of course. And with bat come guano, and as you just read you had to crawl to enter this cave, so you can imagine what we looked like when we got out again.
After a few hours weâ€™d had seen enough and we asked Fernando if we could go back to the camp. Back at the campsite we dove into the river to wash off the guano and mud. Well, dove, the water was no more than knee-deep, so the advertised â€˜swimming in the riverâ€™ was more like bathing in the river.
We made the democratic decision to relieve Fernando of his cooking duties, and I was appointed chef in the camp. Fernando had thought of feeding us some instant mushroom soup, but I had found all the ingredients I needed for a good hearty vegetarian pasta in the supplies. Veggies, tomato paste, red wine, macaroni and spices - what more could you ask for? Itâ€™s obvious Fernando has never lived in a student house!
After dinner I got an ingenious plan for desert. The bread that had been freshly baked at the finca was already stale before we had arrived at the camp, so we much rather had the mushroom soup for breakfast tomorrow.
Actually if you translate the Dutch word literally into English you get 'turnaround bitches', which I find a much better name. And as I translated this into Spanish Fernando seemed to agree as he couldnâ€™t stop laughing for almost half an hour.
We persuaded Fernando to walk up to the farm to ask for some eggs (at these times it is good to be travelling with two girls). With some good guessing and a dose of luck I mixed the eggs, some water and some powdered milk into a batter, drenched the bread into it, and fried it over the wood fire. With some added sugar and cinnamon (also borrowed at the farm) these were utterly delicious. I had never made them before in my life and of course the situation we were in made them even more fun and more tasty.