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Graffiti in Banos  

Graffiti in Banos

The Amazon.....

August 26th 2012
I've been volunteering in the Amazon for over 2 months now. I've got my fair share of bites, stings and blisters, I'm exhausted from the lack of sleep, early mornings and strenuous treks, starved of any meat/cheese and generally any food that has taste or isn't beans! So, my weekend off that I returned from a few days back couldn't have come any sooner! Despite the hardships it ... read more
South America » Ecuador » East » Napo

Ecuadorian Flag The "Republic of the Equator" was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others are Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A b... ... read more
3rd September 2012

My Wildlife Survey - Cats spotted 3, Penis Spiders 0, Bullet Ants 0, Frogs 0
Hey Smithy! Great to be able to read another blog from you and know that you're ok and hear about what you've been up to. Took me a good 20 mins to read it all, if I was to write a blog of my last two months it would be more like a sentance. Went to work and played BF3. I'm now a Colonel 10 which should show how much I've played! I've come off all my medication now though which is awesome, still not completely better but they think my body can do the rest but should be cured by November! We have also been doing some night time wild life spotting, Oakley escaped one evening while we were relaxing outside. Luckily with my keen eyes I managed to spot him, he was at the end of the drive way meowing like a police siren. Think he scared himself, lucking Char was round, she grabbed him by the scruff and brought him back in. Speaking of Oakley he misses you very much and has been nuzzling the I Pad as I read your blog. Sounds like a very hardcore regime where you are, I can't imagine you will ever want another bowl of porridge again! The pics of the wildlife are awesome, especially being so close to birds! Obviously when you left you were not aware that you can buy a spray from Westend DIY called 'No More Spiders.' I imagine this would be most helpful :) Nothing more to report from the UK, everyone is safe and well. I'll remind you once again to take care of yourself (do not get too close to any lava you see, even if it does look really cool!!!!) Lots of hugs and purrs.. Natasha, Lewis, Oakley, Squirley and Missy! xxx
9th September 2012

The Amazon
Heeeey, It's really good to hear from you. Sounds like your both doing well, glad the medication is all done with now, would have been crap to be feeling tired for Christmas and not be able to drink or anything. I know, it was a fairly lengthy one wasn't it, so much more has happened that I didn't put in but I thought I should just get something written up as it's already taken me over a month to write it and upload photos etc due to being either too busy, too tired or the internet being down. Other than friends and family, I've also missed the cats and Battlefield! Natasha, I think you've probably put in more time on battlefield than I have now. In a way it kind of is a little like Bear Grylls. We have to make fires sometimes when we're netting for bats at night and getting a good fire going is more difficult than you think, even with a lighter! Most of the time everything is slightly damp so it takes ages to catch alight, so I turn to the knowledge that Bear instilled in me and I search out special trees and plants that are either semi flamable or keep dry. A little while ago an Ecuadorian guy pointed out a water vine for us to drink from, I felt like Billy from the film Predator as I slashed through it with a machete and rehydrated myself! I have an amusing picture that'll interest you Lewis, I'll post it on facebook in a few days. I love porridge back home, especially with maple syrup in it but the stuff here is made with powdered milk and just tastes of nothingness. It was you who got me into porridge actually Lewis, I had it almost every single morning before I came here...and still do but it's far from the same. It's a good job Oakley didn't get as far as the main road, silly cat eh. Are they all getting along a bit better now? Your right, it is pretty hardcore to be honest but you soon adapt to it. Thats the one thing I said to myself before coming here actually, just be adaptable. I'm not sure if that helped or whether I've just had no choice but to adapt, but it's surprising what you can put yourself through when your thrown into a strange environment. Are you working longer hours now that your feeling a bit more like yourself Natasha? You still working long hours Lewisham? Any news games out/coming out between now and Christmas? There's a spray for spiders??? Damn it, that would have helped loads, although there's so many spiders here it'd cost me a fortune on spray each one. I asked if I could lead a survey a while back and got the chance to do it the other night. I lead one of those night surveys walking through the jungle, we spotted a lot of frogs and an armadillo but not much one died while I was in charge though which is the key point here! I only have a few weeks left here before I'm finished with the volunteering, then it's 2 weeks of intense Spanish lessons up in the Andes Mountains and then 10 weeks of busing it round the country to whatever place takes my fancy. We've been doing a 24hr traffic survey today and my shift is 3am to 6am, so I better get a bit of sleep for it. It's basically sitting at the edge of the forest and marking down how much traffic we get on the road, a tad boring compared to any other survey but at least it's not strenuous work or anything. Anyway, take care you two and speak soon Smithy

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