My Amazon Journey...

Trip Start Jun 27, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So my original plan was to travel all the way down the Rio Napo until it hit the Rio Amazonas. The Amazon river. I knew that it would take up to a month to get to Iquitos in Peru (the first large town in Peru along the rivers) and I was fully prepared to swing in my hammock in a slow moving cargo boat. Unfortunately when I finally got situated in Coca (the first town along the Rio Napo) I discovered that I would not be able to make the adventure in a month's time because I had missed one of the cargo boats by a couple of days and the next one wasn't due to go for another month's time.
I was sad because I thought my jungle adventure was cancelled... but then I met a man that is building a lodge in Panacocha. A small, tiny town about 8 hours, via a motorized concrete canoe and down the Rio Napo. He was going to his property the following day! What luck!!! So off I went... on my jungle adventure down the Rio Napo!

Panacocha is a beautiful area along the Rio Napo. (the Rio Napo is one of the many rivers that run into the Amazon River, it is essentially the headwaters of the Amazon) The river is teeming with wildlife. Birds abound and you can hear there calls throughout the day- especially in the early morning and right before dusk. It is amazing.

There are only 5 people living in this area... of course there is no "main" electricity (a generator runs for approximately 2 hours a night) and there is no hot water... but thankfully there is running water! (although the water that comes out of the spigots is brown... I think it comes from the river but I am not positive. I try not to think about the color as I shower and brush my teeth!) The nearest group of people living are about an hour and a half away by motored canoe... so I am in the middle of nowhere!!! And LOVING it!!!

My friend Thia and I are sleeping along the rivers edge in a hammock covered with a mosquito net. There is no better way to wake up in the morning than hearing the gentle chirps and calls of the jungles many birds. We can even hear the loud roars of the howler monkeys, although we couldn't see them because the jungle surrounding us is so dense. I do think I could live without the rooster's crows that "cockle doodle doo" right near my ear every morning!!! I want to yell at him and say, "I get it already, I am awake! You can be quiet now!!!" J

We went piranha fishing yesterday- and that was great fun! We went in an old, wooden canoe that felt as if it could tip over at any moment... the grandfather and grandson that took us thought it was hysterical every time I would shriek as the canoe tipped to one side or the other. The waters were, after all full of piranha and I had no desire to see if they were man eating or not! I loved the sound of our wooden oars as it stroked the water and I was surprised at how fast we moved through the waters.
The grandson, Brandon was the first to catch a piranha. I still don't know how he did it... the bait was placed on a hook at the end of fishing wire... the fishing wire was wound around a stick... and that was our fishing pole! It was amazing to see them fish this way. Thia and I kept getting bites but every time we got our hook back to the boat they were empty. So we joked and said we weren't really piranha "fishing" we were just out there "feeding" them! Brandon and his grandfather thought that was just the funniest thing. We ended up with three piranha in all. None of which were caught by Thia or me. We ate them for dinner and they were really tasty.

In fact we have had piranha for almost every meal! Go figure.   :)
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