Welcome! Since I will not have the resources to e mail my usual circle of friends and family while in Ecuador, this is it. This Blog will be my vehicle for "dropping you a line..."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feb 18 Travel Day

Well, I am all packed except for the computer. I am already tired, and have about an 8-hour travel day today. We leave around 11 by canoe to go to the airstrip, then to Shell over the jungle then to Quito by bus.
Yesterday was a day for me to enjoy the rainforest, my last opportunity to hike and visit a community. We started by seeing neutra in the lagoon; it was chasing the large ducks. Then many birds sightings on the boat ride to the trail. The best sighting for me was the saddleback monkeys we say playing in the trees along the forest trail. It was a long and hot hike, but many good sightings. We saw tapir tracks, along a small stream, and a small waterfall. The French couple took a different trail and saw 5 capys and a fresh jaguar track. There are mammals out there, just difficult to see. We probably frighten them away as we try to walk quietly along the trail. After a hot lunch in the forest, we took the boat to Kusutkau for a visit with a family. Different communities and different families in the community take turns receiving the tourists. I had visited this community 4 previous times, so I knew the family. It was a good visit. Then back to the lodge via the Pastaza River. We spotted a snake swimming along the shore, and saw it quickly raise up the front of its body and wind around a hanging liana. It was so fast! The boat driver could see it in the tree, we could not. After turning around and spending about 15 minutes, we were able to get a glimpse. Good camouflage! We saw 3 turtles sitting on a branch in the water, but they jumped into the river before we could get a good look. My last day in the rainforest was not a disappointment! Last night I ate a traditional dinner with the guests and guides. It was such a wonderful change from the staff dining. Interesting guests, from Canada and France. After there was a going away chicha party in my honor. I was surprised and touched. Music, dancing and chicha, imported beer, too. I will miss all of the people here.
The experience ended well, with a wonderful tour day.

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