Monday, May 15, 2017

Ecuador! - Part 4: Jungle

During our time in Quito we talked to a few travel agencies to figure out what we should do for a few days to splurge a bit... and we decided to go to the jungle.  There were many operators offering tours, so we shopped around and found one that fit our schedule and worked with our budget.  There are several Jungle Eco Lodges in Ecuador, and we chose to go to Cuyabeno, one of the more popular spots with half a dozen eco-lodges next to each other.  I think the experience is pretty similar at any of the lodges, some being nicer and more expensive, others being more budget, but all offering similar tours and experiences... which I'll talk about below.  We decided to go to Jamu lodge, which was a very clean, nice lodge... we'd recommend it to any one.  

Here's the previous posts... and one final one coming up!
More pics and gphotos

Good Energy always wins
We got on a long overnight bus ride (where I got my camera stolen), while car sick... take the flight!  So worth it... but made it out to Lago Agrio (Nueva Loja)... where there's really nothing here.  Oil industry and now Jungle eco tourism.
Loading up for the 2 hour boat ride to the lodge at the Cuyabeno Bridge.
The nests of the Caracara... I believe
There are 5 indigenous tribes in this region of the Jungle... represented here.  
we're on a boat!
The boat ride down provided a glimpse of all the animal life we were going to see... 
jungle turtles
After unpacking, settling down and having a beer, I felt much, much better... 
For sunset we cruised up to Lago Grande(along with 20 other boats) for a quick swim... and some bird watching.
We went on a night hike that night (really only 400 yard) from the lodge, but this was one of the more interesting activities we did.  There were so many hidden insects everywhere!  Crazy...

This guy was HUGE!
Back in our room we decided to use the mosquito net...
Pink Dolphin lodge
There are also some native settlements along the river.  No doubt these places have been highly affected by tourism.  We had mixed emotions about that...

Banana tree

Crazy mushrooms
A local lady took us out and showed us how to make some of their traditional foods...
we found this guy hiding in the leaves...
Griding up the Cassava roots...

Cassava does contain some poison... but I think once you cook like this, it's ok?  Not sure... 
And Voila!  Your cassava tortilla...
With tuna and salsa from a can..
Kim testing out the blow dart gun
Drying out some cassava
Recycling and compost?  Really?  
Chickens everywhere!
Natural paint...

The pooper

Then the shaman came by and guided us through some of their basic beliefs and 
Shaman pic.  
Back at the lodge... I got to check out the view from the pooper.  
Map of the area...
More monkeys!
Second sunset.  Is sunset at Lago Grande always this pretty?
Bats on our roof...
Ugh oh... Kimbo needs to have a "War Eagle" talk with this guy...
Circumzenithal arc in the Jungle 
On the flight home... our friends got the stewardess seat.  
The view on our flight home

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