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Published: March 27th 2011
a bus stop on the jungle road.
On our way by bus, to base camp where we lived for 5 weeks in the Yachana Reserve (Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador)
Hello to all!
The five weeks in the Yachana Reserve rainforest was an amazing experience! We both learned a lot about the rainforest ecosystem and the many species that live there. We both have so many fond memories of all aspects of the expedition that there´s a bit to much to tell in a single blog. We both had challenges with the communal/group living but it was a great learning experience, as was the constant battle fighting the mould! The climate is always 30 Celcius and super humid, clothes take a long time to dry and mould grows very rapidly.
Dave: My personal favourite was learning about the amphibians and reptiles. I spent many hours surveying and many hours studying in the classroom and have really come to appreciate these creatures a lot more. I really love the poison dart frogs (the Dendrobatidae family - you see, I did study), I like their colours and the fact that they secrete toxins from their paratoid glands (behind their cheeks). I loved handling the frogs, weighing and measuring them, then recording the data. The snakes and lizards were also fantastic! We all got to see various snakes (venomous and non-venomous)
including a 10 ft (3m) Boa constrictor that was found nearby. A close second was the awesome fieldtrip to the Yasuni National Park, a spectacular landscape (riverscape) on the Napo River with incredible birdlife.
Theresa: My highlights were everything. It is hard to choose. I was challenged by the jungle, for sure, and glad for it. Physically, the terrain was quite tough but I did adapt to it eventually. I got defeated by the jungle one day by heat exhaustion. Had to turn back early and was greatful to learn to RESPECT the jungle. The jungle deserves respect! Whether it is the heat, humidity, bug bites, thorns, falling in mud, sliding down into a ravine, dangerous creatures.....what a rush!! I loved all of the surveys. The birds, butterflies, amphibs and reptiles. Loved doing the night walk in the stream where we emersed ourselves (up to our necks at times) to follow along the stream to see amphibs, spiders, snakes, birds sleeping, mammals (if we were lucky - very elusive!). It was cooler at night (and when you were half swimming) so the heat was not as crazy! I gotta say that the stream walk was borderline extreme sports --
A rainforest trail
close to Base Camp. All the trails were well maintained. When we did field work in the primary rainforest, we did not have this luxury. It was much more adventurous and challenging.
you had to watch for animals with your head lamp on (the obvious reason to be there), watch you didn´t put your hand on a branch with thorns (ouch), watch that when you did choose to put your hand on a branch, that it was not on a insect that will bite you (bigger ouch) or a snake (bad ass ouch), and climb over trees (still in your wellies and wet clothes!) and under trees, sometimes holding your breath! Extreme water sport 101!!! Loved it! There are many more "dangerous" stories to tell, but you get the gist of it.
Jungle Tarzan and Jane
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