Heading out of the jungle

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South America » Ecuador » East » Shiripuno River
August 26th 2006
Published: August 26th 2006
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I´ll keep this one quick.

In the morning we went to the local indigenous community. On the way into the jungle, we each had to pay them $20 because we were technically on their land. $20, FYI is a fortune out here. So we were expecting quite a show when we went to visit them. Well, let´s just say we didn´t get it. The community was very basic, but they didn´t take particularly good care of their land, and in the school all the desks and chairs were tipped over. It was still pretty amazing to see how a community could live out in the rainforest and how they survived, but I´m not exactly sure where that $20 is going.

The four hour boat ride back was a pleasure. We saw tons of birds and even a large family of monkeys that was down by the river. We also saw a taipir/taper/taiper/big-pig-like creature that swims in and under the water but lives on the land.

We were sad to get back to land, because unfortunately the reality of the amazon is that it´s still being deforested by woodcutters and there are big oil refineries right there too, and this is all apparent as soon as you get back on land. The deforestation is illegal, but nothing is being done about it. I´m left hoping that something will be done because the things we saw might be gone in the future otherwise.

We´re now back in Coca, where we´ll stay until later this evening when we catch the 9hr bus back to Quito. I´m not sure what we´ll do tomorrow for my last full day. We might head up to Mitad del Mundo (aka the Equator) and get some cheesy tourist shots taken. But this might be my last blog entry until I get back and am able to put more photos online.

BTW, I know from emails that I´ve received that there are people reading this who are planning their own trips to S.America. I´ve tried to put online the names of the restaurants/hotels that we used and liked, but if you need any recommendations let me know.

The agency we used to book the jungle tour was called Jungal Tour (website is jungaltour.com). If you´re interested in an Ecuador jungle tour, the only good way of arranging it is to go to Quito and walk along Amazonas street and stop in at all the travel agencies there and talk to people until you find the trip you want. Had we not done that, we would have ended up in Cuyabeno, which apparently is just teeming with lodges and worn paths. We really recommend the Junglal Tour people, they were super helpful.


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