Cuyabeno — Visiting the Amazon

We roared down the Cuyabeno river, wind tugging at our hats, droplets freckling our sunglasses. Our “piloto” occasionally swerved to avoid submerged obstacles, or would suddenly gun it and flip the motor out of the water to launch us over not-so-submerged obstacles. “Watch for anacondas sunning themselves on the tree branches,” our guide had told us. I did indeed watch.

Two hours later we had arrived at our ecolodge. The journey began with an overnight bus from Quito to Lago Agrio, where we had breakfast, then got on the next bus that drove us futher from civilization, stopping at last at the dolphin crossing road sign. We then loaded our goods in the river boat and motored through the Amazon for two hours. After such an arduous journey, I was relieved and excited to see our beautiful accomodations peep out of the foliage. A mostly hidden oasis, it consisted of several stilted huts with straw roofs, wooden floors and beams, all interconnected by foot bridges. Several huts were for sleeping, there was a dining hall, a dedicated hammock hut, and a canopy level observation tower. This would be our home for the next 4 days.

This next section is for nosey Aunts and Moms who want to know who the “we” is I refer to in my blog entries.

The passengers that arrive at the ecolodge in a boat together become a team for their stay, doing all the scheduled activities together. My team consisted of the following folks.

Salome, a soft-spoken (except for the two times she screamed, for which I really can´t blame her) Swiss woman who had recently lived in Colorado and developed a love of fly fishing. Stephanie, another Swiss woman, who was very nice and several times my photographer . Two Spanish women, vegetarians and animal rights activists, who got in a bit of a squabble protecting an aggressive pet monkey from some of the locals. David and Bobbie, a Colorado couple who had missed their flight to Lago Agrio because they were discussing politics in line, then realized too late they had been waiting in the wrong line. Daniel, a kind Canadian man with whom I ended up sharing a hut and who freely gave his night hike photos to all of us who didn´t want to get our phones and cameras wet, and Maggie, a US citizen currently living in London and traveling solo in South America. That was our crew, and for the next few, busy days, we had some fun.

Photos of Cuyabeno Part 1 are here.

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