Two hundred dollars, an excruciating eight hour night bus journey from Quito, a bumpy minivan ride and a two hour boat ride across coffee coloured water brought us to our jungle lodge. At the border of Ecuador, Columbia and Peru began a four day, three night Amazon adventure, and no, there was no escaping the tarantulas. I had to man up.
Check out my short video (sorry about the annoying music!)
The Goliath tarantulas lived in the ceiling and we saw at least three every night. You know what, after a while I kind of got used to them… but I definitely didn’t want to smuggle any in my rucksack like I wanted to kidnap this Woolly Monkey here. His name is Nacho. He enjoys Pilsner, Coca Cola and potato chips. And apparently he’s been raised by the community we visited since he was abandoned by his mum and he refuses to eat anything apart from these things… as well as the odd banana.
The Cuyabeno reserve and Yasuni National Park has one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna, not to mention hundreds of animals endemic to the area. I’ve never seen so many bugs! We learned all about the amazing medicinal purposes of so many trees and plants… the place is like Boots, with a lot more mud in the aisles.
Indigenous communities still practice Shamanism and ancient medicinal rituals in villages dotted along the river banks. Pink river dolphins hide in the murky waters and we did actually catch a glimpse of their bubbles as we sat in our canoe on the lake, at sunset. I could definitely spend a lot more time in the jungle.
What an amazing part of the world. And speaking of Amazon, have you read Latinalicious – The South America Diaries yet? It’s the book I wrote during my nine month tour of South America. More ridiculousness awaits!