Into the Amazon...
Trip Start Jul 12, 2008
21Trip End May 31, 2009
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After visting a quaint little silversmith village called Taxco, we made our way to Mexico City for our flight to Ecuador. We have been here now for a little over two weeks and are completely enchanted by the country. In Quito we visited all of the cultural sights in the traditional old town including a working nunnery where we bought some hand cream from a nun behind a revolving door as she is not allowed to converse or see anyone outwith her permitted one hour of chat /TV watching each day.
As we mentioned, we made the journey to Middle Earth sadly with no hobbits in tow! Literally meaning the centre of the Earth (qui - middle, to - earth - in the indigenous language quechua) we took this opportunity to travel to the outskirts of the capital to visit the actual equatorial line (measured acurately twelve years ago using GPS). There was a fantastic outdoor museum straddling the two hemispheres where we firstly learnt about typical Equatorian life where Callum got to take part in traditional festival dancing and we both tried our hand at traditional blow pipe hunting. We also witnessed the rather gruesome sight of a 150 year old shrunken skull belonging to the indigenous Shuar tribe who believed that adorning themselves with the shrunken skulls of ancestors would guarantee instant wisdom for themselves. We then progressed onto some fun yet mindboggling equatorial experiments!
For Callumīs birthday we wanted to do something memorable so we decided to travel to the Cuyabeņo Reserve in the Amazon and it is safe to say that this definitely lived up to the challenge of being memorable! Our lodge was situated in a remote corner of the reserve and even from our initial journey by canoe, we were struck by the sheer density of the jungle and how every inch around us was teeming with wildlife - amazing!
We were so sad when we returned to civilisation but were equally excitied by our next challenge. We are travelling to Baņos for some long overdue Spanish lessons which will hopefully help us to muddle through the rest of South America!
Where I stayed
Cuyabeno River Lodge