Friday, August 27, 2010

One Day in the Jungle

A monkey watching us at the
refuge out of Puyo.
Before leaving Baños, Karla and I decided to take a day trip to the nearby jungle, the western edge of the massive Amazon.  Of course, one day is hardly enough time to get know the jungle - just enough to give you a taste without being eaten alive by mosquitos or falling over a waterfall in a leaky canoe!  As I quipped to Karla, we were on the "Welcome to the Jungle Now Get Out" tour...

Still, we wanted to see the jungle before we left, and since we hadn't been able to get anything bigger assembled (nor really had the motivation for a longer jungle experience after nearly five months of travel), we decided to arrange a day trip to one of the local agencies in Baños.  We weren't under any illusions - you can't go too far into the jungle in one day, and we'd be seeing areas that were right next to human habitations, so the odds of seeing, say, a giant anaconda were slim to none.  Nevertheless, we were not disappointed.

Karla Flying Out Over the Canopy
Karla on the rope swing flying out over
the jungle canopy, with the the Río Pastaza
and the Río Puyo in the background. 
Being led by a trilingual native Kichiwa guide...  Seeing and interacting with monkeys at a refuge...  Floating in a leaky canoe down a river that's a tributary to the Pastaza river that flows into the Amazon river...  Hiking in secondary and primary jungle...  Swimming under a waterfall...  Eating local fish baked in plant leaves (which Karla astutely identified as tasting like canned tuna)...  Having faces painted by achiote...  Flying out over the canopy on a rope swing...  Learning about some of the plants in the jungle and their uses... Eating ants (which don't taste like much of anything)...

Visit our Puyo - Amazon Jungle set on flickr to view the pictures and videos.

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