The Jungle

After having left Quito we were stopped at 12.30am due to a landslide. The police said they would open the road at 6am…so we snoozed on the bus awaiting dawn. Dawn came and went and still no sign of movement and the only alternative 13hour route was also blocked because of landslides. Our bus driver made the decision to head back to Quito and we would have to sort out rearranging the trip or a refund with the travel operator we had used (Carpedm). Back in Quito and Paul who runs the Carpedm agency surprised us all by saying they would provide us with free flights to a town near the jungle, but we had to hurry as we only had one and a half hours until the flight would leave and the trip to the airport is one hour without traffic. Queue a scene from a movie with thirteen of us running across the airport to board a plane….we made it. We were on our way to the jungle! A three hour car journey and two hour boat ride on the other side and we were at Caimen Lodge in the Cuyabeno jungle and it was everything I had ever imagined; So peaceful yet so noisy with the hum of insects and bird and monkey calls and stunningly beautiful. The adventure had begun…

Our lodgings were little wood cabins with mosquito netting and it was wonderful to fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle. My roommate Swee led us all in an early morning yoga session and the staff at the lodge provided us with delicious meals throughout our stay.

We went on numerous boat rides to try to see animals and we’re lucky enough to see Macaws, a sloth (my personal favourite), smelly Turkey birds, various herons and parrots, miniature frogs, attacking hideous spiders, lots of different species of monkey, two baby anacondas, a baby tree boa, a tree rodent and a huge caimen!

We also did jungle walking in both daylight and at night and even had to wade through waist deep swamps…quite the experience! We visited a jungle community and helped in the process of making tapioca flat bread. The whole trip was a little contrived with a shaman performing healing rituals on members of the group, but it was interesting all the same.


On our last day we said a fond farewell to the jungle with an early morning outing to see river dolphin. Despite us chasing their breathing bubbles, we never saw one surface, but the serenity and beauty of the jungle made up for that. And to top it off I came away with only three mosquito bites…



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