Woke up bright and early to jungle birdsong which is really quite odd after Cuenca and Quito. Still, got up and went in search of, what else, breakfast - we seem to do a hell of a lot of eating here. Then off into town as a group of ten now having adopted Matt, Emily and Froydis to get ready for tubing. This involved having a pickup truck with giant rubber doughnut rings strapped on top of it. As we couldn't all fit in the truck we had to sit under it until our guide suggested we sit on top of the rings. Well, we thought 'sure, why not' and did so after a little difficulty getting up. Really started to worry that he had been joking when we realised that they weren't strapped on at all - just resting on top of a truck as we bounced around on very bad country roads towards the river. Still, managed to arrive in one piece before getting into life jackets and bikinis (always an odd combination) and having a safety talk in Spanish that we didn't really understand - always good! We had to sort of perch on a dip where
two rings were tied together with our legs facing outwards on the opposite side and hold on to the ropes very tightly whilst hoping they didn't come undone - then he pushed us off. Thought it wouldn't be as bad as white water rafting somehow but halfway down the river I was wishing for a way of controlling it slightly. We got soaked and whenever a rock came too close you had to lift your legs in the air and hope you didn't get smashed against it. So much fun though and really can't complain for all of $3! Had to struggle out the river the other end with Sophie, Lou, Matt and Jack waiting for us to fall over whilst taking photos. We then persuaded out guide to take us down to the zip-wiring (after dropping Matt (new one not our one) back in town (cue more truck riding)) Zip wiring (for the five of us who did it) entailed being precariously harnessed to a steel cable above the canopy (sometimes up to 500ft above!) and being pushed off. So much fun again and we managed to get almost as wet as the tubing due to the clouds. There
Sohpie descending into the canopy and making it look very easy!
were ten cables in total including some really fast ones where I managed to smash into the tree at the other end (very George of the Jungle). On the really long ones (the last being 400m) we were allowed to do tricks such as Mariposa (being held upside down and flapping like a butterfly if you could bear to let go!) and Superman (pretty much what it sounds like). You got incredible views over the forest though - kind of a pity you couldn't take cameras although I'm sure at least one person would have dropped theirs.
Got back to the hostal in the rain and went for that typical Ecuadorian food we have everywhere - pizza. Returned to the hostal in the dark (really not fun on rough cobbles with no lights) and spent the evening chilling on the deck in hammocks.
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