This past week was All Saints Day/ Día de Todos Santos and so the whole country of Ecuador was on holiday from Wednesday through Sunday. I traveled with two peace corps volunteers and 7 Ecuadorians to the rainforest on one of the most fun adventures of my time here in the Peace Corps.
Here is a brief summary of each day and pictures!
Tuesday: 12 hour night bus to the rainforest with my roommate Caitlin and another PCV, Christina.
Wednesday: We met up with my neighbor Leo from Guayaquil who is currently doing his thesis in the jungle and was the mastermind behind the whole trip. After getting some breakfast we walked along the Napo River and fed strawberries to monkeys in the park. That night we stayed at a hostel and met up with the rest of the people who would be traveling with us.
Thursday: We all woke up early and jumped into the back of a truck with all of our bags and headed southeast to a rainforest reserve. A naturist guide gave us a introduction to the park and the flora and fauna. We went canoeing on the lake and later that day we took a night guided tour to see wild black caymans, piranhas and green tree frogs!
In the back of the truck on the way to the jungle….
On the pier and about to get into the canoe….
In the canoe with the whole group….
Friday: We traveled back West and spent the day sleeping in hammocks and listening to our Ecuadorian friends play the guitar. At night we went out for a group dinner and then to a local discoteca to dance.
Saturday: We jumped in another truck and headed south to another small town where we went on an amazing hike to the most beautiful waterfall that I have ever seen. One of the Ecuadorians traveling with us works with multiple indigenous communities in the jungle so he was able to take us to this waterfall, which is a well kept secret in the area. We took a 30 minute walk to the top of the waterfall and continued down the side of the waterfall through caverns until we reached the base of a river. At the base of the river there were places to cliff jump and to swim up stream below the jungle canopy above. The pictures don’t even do this place justice….. one of the most beautiful places I have ever been!
Crossing the river and starting our hike …..just as it starts to rain
Christina jumping into the river before the hike.
That night we stayed in a house that looks over the rainforest below and sits above the clouds. With my new made Ecuadorian friends I helped make dinner: talapia, patacones (fried bananas) and a salad. Leo and his friends all play the guitar and sing so we joined them singing songs in Spanish and English by the campfire.
Sunday: Up early, breakfast, and we caught a bus on the highway at 10am 1) Bus to Tena, 2) Bus to Ambato 3) Bus to Guayaquil …..a total of 14 hours in 3 buses back to Guayaquil. We were in the terminal by 12:15pm and home in our apartment by 12:30pm.
Here are some more videos and pictures from the trip. QUIERO REGRESAR A LA SELVA !!! I want to return to the jungle!!! ……some plans are already in the works to return : )
In the truck returning from the waterfall hike
The Ground Black Beetle
Leo making a joke, “Tenemos much peso….botamos alguien” — We are very heavy….toss someone”