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Published: March 16th 2019
Today we are going to the Amazon. I have a phobia of remote places, so the old man has booked a hotel only accessible by canoe. This morning we have an hour flight to Lago Agrio, followed by a 2 hour bus trip to a bridge then a 2 hour canoe ride to our ‘hotel’.
I say hotel. In my world a hotel has electricity. And WiFi. And walls. All things I’m going to have do without for the next 4 days.
We check in for our flight and I buy my last Diet Coke for 4 days - I’m about to go cold turkey. At $4 a bottle, it’s probably just as well. One last login to the airport WiFi – more cold turkey.
The plane has propellers. I’m a firm believer that one shouldn’t fly in anything that doesn’t have jet engines (preferably manufactured by Rolls Royce). The old man man is worried it will be the last straw and I will refuse to board, but the flight is only 35 minutes, so I manage to hold it together.
The bus journey is less scenic than I’d expected. We’re in an oil producing area and
the pipeline runs alongside the road. After two hours, we reach Cuyabeno Bridge. We are met by our guide, have lunch and set off in our motorised canoe. It takes longer than 2 hours as we do a few 360 degree turns along way to spot wildlife.
En route we see howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, sloths, an anaconda, anhingas, kingfishers, macaws, weaver birds, flycatchers and loads of butterflies.
We reach the lodge and are shown our room. Usually, the old man has a panic attack if he’s made to sleep with the window open and reaches for the A/C control at the first sight of a mosquito, so it’s going to be an interesting few nights. He seems upset that the door has no lock, despite the fact the room has no wall on one side and windows with no glass on two more sides.
On a more positive note, the guide has brought a case of beer from town and it’s $4 for a 750 ml bottle which should make things a bit more manageable.
After an hour to settle in, we go out for an evening canoe ride. This time we see giant guinea
pigs and pink river dolphin (except they’re babies so they’re grey, not pink). Then we are given an opportunity to swim. In water we have already ascertained contains snakes, caiman and piranha. The old man decides to go in. Getting him out again is another matter and requires rather a lot of assistance. Needless to say I’m on hand – with my camera.
We have dinner then retire to bed and try to sleep through the cacophony of crickets, birds and frogs (and the occasional scream of a Canadian schoolchild that’s spotted a bug). I lie under my mosquito net thinking about my lovely house in Bournemouth with its mod cons and wonder how I got coerced into spending 4 days in a damp shed in the jungle?
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