Jungle trek in amazonia Ecuador
21.09.2009 - 23.09.2009 23 °C
Our jungle tour begins with a long bumpy ride but it's worth it. Our first stop is an amazing monkey refuge where spider and chorongo monkeys greet us by taking our hands or gently climbing on our backs. These guys were very friendly and gentle as opposed to other monkeys I’ve encountered in my life. They are free to come and go but due to rehab often stay although they play on the fringes of the forest. Some, like the white faced monkey, drop in for a visit but are aggressive and unsocial. Others are being rehabilitated behind cages because they don’t play well with other monkeys or humans, "kill him" just kidding. I believe they are the carnivorous type. Ariel wants to come back here and volunteer if at all possible.
We shall see, as we investigate the idea of returning to Ecuador to volunteer with an animal project. Volunteering these days means paying for your room and board even though you’re contributing and these fees can be more than hostels and budget restaurants.
Ceasar, our guide and nature interpreter in the Amazon basin, is also indigenous from the Schurr people. He takes us to the first outpost and after lunch we hike in the secondary jungle (primary jungle is 5 hours east of our location) for 3 hours. We sleep comfortably and are treated with loads of food. The next day is another jungle trek, and includes wadding waist deep down a river, then swimming towards a beautiful waterfall. After lunch we pack up, load into a dugout canoe and head to an Induchuris which is an outpost run by a Kichwa indigenous family and has many interesting trails, wildlife, and even a friendly Coadimundi pet. Jordan and the coadi become quite tight and we name him Bert. More hiking in the afternoon and a night walk to see the eyes of caiman and maybe spot an anaconda.
During our walks Ceasar stops to inform us on plants, their medicinal qualities or household uses. He also stops for delightful bugs, I mentioned Jordan’s love of bugs and spiders. We spot many of huge arachnids, sticks bugs, and beetles. But we also come across some very interesting frogs such as the ones that is translucent and opaque. The trek wraps up with lessons in blow darts, spear throwing, bird calls and more plant info. The trip home is long as we wait for a public bus in the backcountry.
While waiting we meet a young German lady who tells our guide that she was at the same family outpost to see the Shaman. She wanted to experience a shamanic spiritual drug which apparently clears your mind and gives you visions. The Shaman, though, has other things in mind and apparently their encounter doesn’t go very well. Our guide explains to me later that many young westerners come to the jungle alone looking for a Shaman who can assist them in spiritual enlightenment with the consuming of a special plants medicinal properties. He also says many times backpackers get robbed or led astray on these journeys and they need to find a local guide who can bring them to a real Shaman and not one who defrauds or whose behavior is less than sincere. I am certainly glad that I got over those type of notions or activities during the Asian travels of my early twenties.