July 6, 2008
A whirl wind again. Thinking that just two nights ago we were at 12,000 feet, cold, windy and in our layers, looking at Cotopaxi. Now sitting in the town of Tena at the edge of the jungle, hot, humid, still in t-shirts at 10pm. Listening to the sound of insects, frogs, and the girls painting their nails and the boys scaring themselves with a large spider they found above a window.
Chris and I are in hard debate for Kiley’s health and the benefit of the group. Deciding another day of rest is in her best interest and to not expose herself to a day of wetness and the hot sun, but to rest and build her immune system before heading into the jungle. After her penicilan injections at the hospital she is feeling much better and I’m in hopes she will continue to feel better and nobody else will be sick!
We left Banos on bikes to head into the Jungle. We biked and took in the views to the right while buses flew by on the left. We stopped and watched the sky buckets take Ecuadorian Tourists across the canyon. The lush green plants lining the walls and the Rio Pastasa raged below. Locals maintained high and steep farmland that awed us all.
This biking day is stressful but so fun! It feels good to get out doing some physical activity and have open views. We stopped for lunch for some BBQ, I had the most amazing trout EVER!!!!! Some of us went for a walk down to a great double waterfall with a swimming hole at the bottom. The water was cold but really refreshing!
The biking was over and it was time to get back on the bus again for a few hours. We were on a bumpy dirt road for a while when Rachel asked if this was the ‘main’ road to Tena, which of course it was and we all laughed at how bad the road was. Arriving in Tena we were ready for dinner. We walked over a bridge to a resteraunt that sat on the river. Folks could order steak, pork, chicken, fish. It was tasty and a fun ambiants. Tomorrow is our rafting day and Chris and I decided Kiley still wasn’t up to par and it was in her best interest to rest one more day rather then be wet all day and potentially cold not allowing her immune system to continue to build before we head off deeper into the jungle. She was upset and a Amy and Rachel, her current roomates worked hard to cheer her up and keep her mind off the fact that she was staying behind.
We had breakfast at Tortuga Café and loaded up for an hour drive to our put in spot on the river. We would raft for a couple hours, have lunch, then have another couple hours in the afternoon and be back by 4pm. The rapids were up to class 3. Fun rolling rapids and wave trains. Holes to be hit and missed. We had water fights and swam whenever our guide Danny said it was OK. The other Boats guide was Andrea’s, both fun and full of knowledge, life and energy. We chowed on Burritos with freshly made guacamole, fruit, and veggies. After everyone was full the guides asked if we wanted more, when we answered “No Thanks” they asked if we were sure. After our confirmation they whistled and the little kids that were washing their clothes on the beach when we pulled up came running over and picked up all the food to take to a nearby table with a giant leaf on it. They spread out the food and each child seemed to be in charge of dividing up the food into even amounts to everyone. It was a great scene to observe!
Our next stop after lunch was a pull out where we waded in the river and walked around a corner where there was a beautiful canyon, full of green lush plant life, a creek running through it, and some dirt that is great for your skin. The guides had fun painting our faces and we got into character and soaked in our surroundings!
This was a pretty site and a fun side tour that nobody wanted to end. We made it back to Tena around 4pm, did some shopping, tried to find a Salsa class that wasn’t going to start until too late, had dinner and started packing for the next few days in the Jungle. The rain started around 9pm and was strong! Giant bugs decorated the walk way and would scare people frequently. The jungle is a deep and dense place and Tena is reminding us of that!