The Amazon with Freddie, Iden and Adel

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
Trip End ??? ??, 2006

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Where I stayed
Amacayaca National Park

Flag of Colombia  ,
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Freddie and Iden arrived on Tuesday, April 25 @ about the same time and believe it or not, on different flights. I wasn't allowed to go through customs (as I usually am) to get Freddie and Iden, so I waited behind the "line." At first, Freddie didn't see me because he was too busy flirting and getting digits from a girl he had sat next to on the plane. He was so engrossed in stinging her with the Freddie bug that he didn't see me jumping up and down and nearly passed right by me as he walked past the line. It was great to see Freddie and moments later Iden arrived. I was so excited to have two new visitors.

We got back to my house and hung out, drank a bunch of wine and talked till about 1 in the morning. Okay, Freddie did most of the talking :-) The next morning, I went to work and Fred and Iden ventured out to do some touristy things in the city. They survived and much to Freddie's suprise and that of his family, he didn't get kidnapped! Later that day, they met me at the Embassy and I showed them around a little bit. That night we went to dinner and hit the sack. No alcohol that day! I think we had enough from the night before.

The following day, Thursday, I set Iden and Freddie up on the Guatavita and Salt Cathedral trip (same as Sheila, Tanya and Janet's) and they actually made it all the way to the Salt Cathedral. We had a typical dinner of Ajiaco (chicken, potato soup) at home and got ready for our trip to the amazon the next day.

We arrived in Leticia (borders Peru and Brazil) at about 11 in the morning and headed to our hotel, the Decameron, which was really, really nice. The weather was hot and steamy. We decided to have lunch in Brazil, so off we went. It was kind of cool because it was literally a cab ride away. After lunch, we hired a small boat after much negotiation and took a ride on the amazon river. We saw Peru and Brazil and the Colombian border. The river was beautiful and stretch for miles and miles.
After our short excursion and Freddie hanging with the animals again (he had dogs following him in Chile;in Colombia he made friends with a pig), we headed back to the hotel for dinner. After dinner there was an introduction into the local indigenous community at the t-pee. When we got there, there were several people sitting quietly listening to the history of the indians. We get there and there are these little stools where we are suppose to sit. Iden and I sit down and Fred attempts to sit on his, but ends up on the floor which causes everyone to crack up. I couldn't stop laughing and Fred couldn't get up on the stool. One of the very funny Freddie moments.

The chief then introduced the group, including Fred and Iden to "rapel." Rapel, according to the native, is a tabacco type natural substance that is put in a long straw type thing. One end goes up your nostril and the other end is where the indian blows the rapel into your nose. Both Fred and Iden did it and boy was it funny! (See photos)
Both Fred and iden were pretty giddy after they snorted their tabaccco.

The next morning, we decided to take a tour of an indigenous community and go to monkey island. The tour of the indigenous community and the hike through the amazon was super cool. The natives painted our faces and we hiked for miles to the next community. The funniest part of the hike was....once again....Freddie. At one point during the hike, we encountered a swamp. The locals, who were barefoot, just walked right through it. Then they told me to get on their backs and they would cross the swamp with me on their back. I immediately follwed their instructions (yeah, I know, a first) and made it safely to the other side. This is where the fun part begins. There were three guys and two girls on our hike. The other girl also got piggybacked across by the natives. Then, we look back and see Freddie on some poor native's back. Iden, the manly man decided he had to much pride and could not jumpp on some guy's back, so he walked through the swamp in the high rubber boots they had given us. The other guy could have been Fred's brother because he also got on the native's back. That poor native. The kicker was that Fred commented that he should give the guy $1000 pesos = 50 cents as a tip for bringing him across. What a guy!!! Anyway, during our hike we also drank fresh water from a tree limb.

Next, we headed to moneky island with small bananas in hand. We walked around a little looking for them and next thing you know, there were swarms of them. They were adorable. They were called cappuccino monkeys. They jumped on our heads and shoulders to get the bananas. They especially liked Freddie (guess they saw some family resemblance :-)). We headed back to the hotel after a long day hiking and being in the sun. Adel was due to meet us at the hotel and when we got there he was sleeping. That afternoon, we headed to our next adventure, sleeping in the Amazon for a night, at the Amacayaca National Park. After an hour and a half on the boat, we made it to the "resort" -- it was not a resort by Adel's standards or by anyone else's either. There was no bar, no pool and not much to do. There was however a watering hole in the back part of the camp (more acurate description) where the guide took us and told us,with a straight face, that people swam in the green slimy water. She explained to us that the park was flooded due to the rains, but that there was a night canoe ride in the river. She also warned us that after 9 pm there was no electricity and therefore, no electric fan. The look on Adel's face was Ritz for him. I can't say I was too happy either, but we decided to make the best of it and lathered up with tons for repelant and waited for the 8 pm night canoe ride.

The four of us got into the canoe with the guide and two flashlights he had with him. WE started laughing so hard because there was nothing to see. The only visible thing was the tree tops that were almost completely immersed in water. No animals, no nothing! Oh, there was a beautiful star filled sky, kind of like the one you see in the midwest. It was beautiful, but after 10 minutes of this and having to paddle, the boys were done. We headed back as quick as we could to try to get some time to read, shower and cool off before the fan was shut off.

At 9 pm, as were were laying under our mosquito netting, the lights went out. I was happy because I had my ipod, but Adel was making it difficult, because he couldn't read. Then, Adel came up with what he thought was a great idea, I should fan him with the pillow and then he would fan me. I tried it, but Adel didn't like the way i fanned because I "thumped" the pillow when I fanned. Of course, he never fanned me back, so all bets were off. We ended up laughing about where we were and about Freddie and Iden in the next room. Evenutally, we dosed off and the next morning, we were out of there on the first boat out.

That afternoon, Fred, Iden and i went to Peru for lunch while Adel laid by the beach. WE shopped a little and then had dinner. We had an early flight the next day, so we hit the sack kind of early. Overall, it was a great experience that I would recommend to anyone who visits Colombia.

Freddie and Iden left the next morning as did I. I had to go to Medellin for work for two weeks. It was great to have Iden and Freddie around. They were great house guests and easy going about everything. I hope they come back soon!!!
I am now awaiting my next visitor!

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