This morning we left our hostel in Quito to go the Amazon. We left for the airport around 8 and our flight got moved up to 9 so we took off then and landed in Coca 25 minutes later (it would’ve been a 9 hour bus ride). From Coca we hopped on a small boat with two rows of seat for a 5-hour ride to our lodge called Amazon Dolphin Lodge. We arrived around 4 and rode around the “Parana Lagoon” in canoes. We saw some cool birds and other animals then came back to the lodge and showered for dinner at 7. Some went for a night walk but after having seen a tarantula upon my arrival I was a little overwhelmed with the number of bugs and decided I needed to sit this one out. Good thing I didn’t go because Haley came back with a giant beetle/cockroach in her pants!!! Haley was my roommate so we calmed each other down by watching Pride and Prejudice in bed then going to sleep (under our mosquito nets).
We woke up around 5:45 for a morning activity before breakfast. We did some more canoeing around the lagoon and watched the sun rise. Then we returned to the lodge for breakfast of rolls, eggs, and sausage (more like hotdog meat). We left around 8 on our big motorized boat for a little hike a little bit down the river. We walked deep into the Amazon jungle and looked at the plants and animals. After 3 hours or so we went back to the boat and headed back to the lodge. Lunch was waiting for us and after lunch we had a siesta. The siesta ended around 3:30 then we headed out in the canoes to look for monkeys on the other side of the lagoon. We came back around 6 and showered then ate dinner around 7 after uploading and updating our blogs. After dinner we went out in the canoes and looked for cayman alligators, but had no such luck. However, we did get to see some amazing stars that left hardly any black space in the sky. Haley and I watched Pride and Prejudice in bed until we fell asleep.
Today we slept in (by that I mean woke up in time for breakfast at 7). After breakfast of eggs and an empanada type thing, we went for a hike around the reserve to look at the special medicinal plants used by the natives. Our guide opened up one of the plants that had ants inside and we passed it around and ate them! They tasted sour kinda like lemon. He scraped some bark off a special tree and grinded it up to a powder then made a little leaf funnel and poured the water over the powder to make a liquid that is poisonous to animals but a medicine to humans. Three hours later we headed back and had some free time for an hour or so then had a delicious lunch of spaghetti with meat sauce!! We didn’t get a siesta today, but instead left on the motorboat for an hour ride to monkey island in hopes of spotting wooly monkeys. We got lucky and saw several monkeys after looking for only 20 or 30 minutes. They were swinging high up in the trees and peeing down on us! Around 3:30 we got back on the boat and headed for the lodge. It rained on us on the way back so it took a little longer and we got back around 5. We showered and now we are uploading photos and blogging.
This morning we woke up around 5:45 for an early morning hike around the reserve to look for monkeys. After walking for about 40 minutes we spotted 2 or 3 way up in the trees but they were hard to see that well. We made our way back to the lodge around 7:10 for a breakfast of eggs, rolls, and some kind of potato/root. We headed out on the canoes to fish for piranhas after breakfast. My canoe (Haley, Madeleine, and Michael) was led by Juan and we hitched a ride by connected our boat with the other motorized canoe. Juan caught his second piranha and when he was trying to get the hook out of its mouth it bit the top of his finger off and sliced one of his other fingers! He was bleeding pretty profusely and after 5 minutes or so we started paddling to the nearest group to get some medical supplies. We found them a few minutes later and the other guide patched Juan up. We stayed out fishing for a couple more hours then headed back and had free time until lunch at 12:30. The rest of the day was free time so Haley, Michael, Madeleine, and I went out in a canoe and swam for a while then came back and worked on picture stuff.