Cuyabeno Final Notes

The ecolodge was solar powered, so each night at 10:00pm, they shut off all electricity. One time I was brushing my teeth when poof, lights out time, and it was stunningly dark. I felt around the sink for my headlamp, which I had thoughtfully brought with me but absent-mindedly set down, on the sink ledge with all my hygeine products.

One night after dinner, Daniel, Salome and I sat around the table sipping tea and chatting pleasantly. One of the kitchen workers put a candle on our table, and a few minutes later, off with the electricity.

Shortly thereafter, Salome screamed, leaping out of her chair. “Something big landed on me! Get a light!” she said. To you folks at home, that might seem like a bit of an overreaction. However, we aren’t in Kansas anymore Toto. We’d spent days seeing potentially dangerous wildlife all around us, including the massive pet boa constrictor that for the last few days had been lounging around in the rafters of the dining hall (pictured above).

Armed with headlamps, we searched her chair, and then saw the culprit on the floor nearby. A rather large frog, which probably had been as stunned by the sudden darkness as we were, must have fallen out of the rafters and onto Salome. She had a certain actractiveness, apparently, to the animals of the Amazon.

As beautiful as the Amazon is, it’s the sounds that are the most memorable sensory experience. There is a bird called the Oro Pendula (you can hear it here, although my iPhone mic doesn’t do it justice), which makes a sound that can only be described as digital, as if someone were holding a cell phone up to a PA system. And if the crickets I hear chirping back home at night are a singer-songwriter, then the birds, animals, and crickets here are a large choir with a full orchestral backup. It’s chaotic and symbiotic, and going to sleep to that sound those nights is something I’ll never forget.

I forgot the night hike photos. Those are here.

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