Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 1 Guacamayo Ecolodge, Cuyabeno, Amazon Jungle Ecuador with an 8 year old

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My son picked a jungle tour for his 8th birthday present.
So we asked around and found this one to be the best value.
We actually got a $20 discount each by going directly to their booking office 
- which we found through their web-site.
The lady told us where to go and book the bus early, so we were able to get front seats;
thus trying to avoid the throw-ups on the journey.
When we arrived we were asked for an extra $3 each - 
the bridge was down and we would have to go the long way.
My son had selected the night bus - and he was so excited at this 11 pm departure -
I however, was not.
The toilet was locked the entire time.
This is customary on Ecuador buses.
You will be told it is broken - but seems they don't want to clean it.
Anyway part-way through the trip I couldn't hang on,
and demanded it be opened.
The bus was soooo hot, I had to drink lots of water.
So my trips to the bank were more frequent - much to his annoyance.
He would march me down each time, and stand guard whilst I used it.
The down-side was I had no food to last us til lunch time the next day.
He would not stop for food.
My son threw up and they promptly passed me a bunch of plastic bags.
But they would not stop the bus.
I slept on the floor on the sleeping bag - kinda gross, but there was more space as we were at the front.

We finally arrive in town.
We have to taxi to a meeting point.
I felt so ill, I thought I would be sick.
I ordered toasted sandwiches which were inexpensive.
Then the driver came and promptly got us going in the mini van for the next 2 hour leg.
Everyone slept on the mini van - silence all around.
We get to the river, and we then find out there is lunch awaiting us.
We hardly touched any.
It was mid afternoon and we had a 3 hour boat ride ahead.

 We are both pretty excited when we finally get going.
My son is the only child.
Seems most others are couples.

We stop along the way to see an anaconda, monkeys, butterflies and various birds.

Our guide, Neissar can spot them in a flash - I am impressed by his knowledge.
Having studied horticulture myself, I am pleased he knows his plants.
We arrive at the Ecolodge.

Our room is the last one.
It has a mosquito net, en-suite, and bats that stink and drop poo.

I think we will use that mosquito net!

There are hammocks outside the rooms and we used ours quite a bit.

That evening we go for a boat ride.
We see pink dolphins!
All you can see is a distant splash in this photo.
They are super fast.

My son enjoys a sunset swim.
Dirk from The Netherlands throws him in the air.
I am pleased at how he gives him some attention.

He seems really happy and is enjoying his 8th birthday gift so far!

We then dress and go on an evening hike.
About now I am ready for dinner, but we head off for a lengthy and informative walk in the jungle.
We see a lot of spiders - most of them are massive!

This is a lobster grasshopper I believe.

This is an orange snake!

This moth is HUGE, and quite beautiful.

Then there are frogs - can you see this one?

This little cutie is about the size of a 20 cent piece.

But seeing the Caiman (small alligators) with their glowing eyes was pretty wild and scary.

We head back tot he lodge.
I am impressed at what my son has seen and learnt already.

We eat dinner and meet a lovely couple from Mexico.

My son falls asleep on my lap.
The meals and activities really are a bit late for a child.
I excuse ourselves and tuck him into bed.
It has been a long two days getting here.
An amazing adventure so far!
We will sleep well!

We recommend Guacamayo Ecolodge and Tours.
We had a fantastic time, and our guide was just the best!

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