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Published: March 17th 2019
Today we are returning to civilisation. I can’t wait but first we have to endure:
- 2 hour canoe ride
- 2 hour bus ride
- 4 hour wait at airport
- 1 hour flight
- 1 hour taxi ride
Things I’m looking forward to this evening:
- Phone coverage to speak to my girls
- WiFi to read the news/sports results
- WiFi to check up on what my friends/family have been up to on social media
- Electric lights
- Power sockets
- Hot shower
- Dry towels
- Proximity to shops
- Clean running water
- Being allowed to use shampoo/conditioner
- Being able to eat/drink what and when I want
- Clean sheets
- Far fewer insects
- Not stinking of insect repellent
- No animals in the bedroom
- Much less rain
To add to an already long day, we have a 6.30 start for an additional canoe ride. In 4 days in the jungle I have spent 13 hours in a canoe (having skipped 2 canoe trips).
At 6 am it’s raining, as it has been all night, which makes the idea of getting up and going on a canoe
even less inviting, so we wimp out. After breakfast we set off on the journey back.
The canoe takes a while to pack. It’s the lodge’s only link with civilisation so is laden with dirty laundry and empty cool boxes and beer crates to replenish supplies.
One last thing; our packed lunch. The staff have found the old man highly amusing. Even though we were given three, three course meals a day, he was constantly going to the kitchen to ask for more. Every time he entered the dining room, they greeted him with ‘Mas pan?’ Or ‘Mas café?’ Herman hands out a packed lunch to everyone, then gives the old man two, which causes all the staff to crack up. It’s a joke, the second lunch is actually mine. The old man looks terribly disappointed when he realises he doesn’t really have two packed lunches.
Thankfully it’s stopped raining. The driver puts the hammer down and we speed our way to Cuyabeno Bridge, stopping only once to observe a large group of monkeys crossing the river, swinging across branches directly overhead.
At Cuyabeno Bridge, the big changeover takes place. Off the canoes come old passengers
and empty bottles and boxes. From the buses emerge new passengers and supplies.
We take our bus to Lago Agrio, arriving with 4 hours to spare. We could go for an explore but our guide book cautions against this, saying it’s not a place to visit unless you’re an oil worker/prostitute/drug runner. So we spend the afternoon at the airport. I don’t care as they have coke, crisps and WiFi, so that’s all my cravings dealt with (apart from decent cheese, which doesn’t exist in South America).
The flight to Quito is quite spectacular as we skirt a volcano at sunset. Then a taxi into Quito where we will spend our final 5 nights. The old man is already panicking about spending such a large amount of time in one place.
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