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Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 4 Guacamayo Ecolodge, Cuyabeno, Amazon Jungle Ecuador with an 8 year old

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We are awoken in the night by the loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life.
Lightning brightly lights the room.
There are spaces in the roof, so I can see the flashes of lightning illuminates our dwelling clearly.
And then - the roof leaks.
A drip, drip, drip on my feet and head.
And a small puddle all over our clothes.
So I am up, trying to shove the damp clothes in a wooden box / shelf in the corner.
Then the bats start.
Circling in the roof - but worse - whilst I sleep one drops a nice poo right where I treat in the morning.
Today doesn't start well.
I am tired and achy, and all our clothes are wet.

Gross !!
Then there is a cockroach as big as my index finger.
I am a tough single Mum, but jungle life is getting to me.

We get a chance to see another Toucan, so this peps me up a bit.

It is bucketing down with rain.
So we don our massive poncho's, as we are to go paddling today.
I tie knots in the corners of my sons, so he doesn't trip over them as his goes beyond the ground.

We are towed behind the motor boat to a small inlet hidden in the trees.
Now it is a steady pounding of rain.
It stings my face.
My son is having a hard time paddling with the heavy poncho.
He takes his off and we paddle to the "hidden lake".
No motor boats are allowed here.
As we enter this area our guide is excited.
He sees a manatee in the distance.
He has only see 3 in 15 years with tour groups.
It looks like a rubber tyre bobbing in the water.

 Now my son is 8 years this week.
He is cold and the conditions are tough.
Sitting for over 1/2 hour waiting for a black thing to bob in the water is as boring as anything.
He really has had enough.
He is constantly told not to move and to "shhhh".
Eventually I think he will pop a blood vessel.
So I say I need to go to the bathroom.
So they paddle to the tree stump area on the left.
I have to climb up.
I hit my head right on a broken branch.
I squat in my poncho over the hollow area.
I want to cry.
This is the worst toilet break of my life.

As we paddle back it is bout 12 noon or later by now.
My son was so tired and cold, and really just not coping.
He can't paddle correctly, and drags it in the water with tiredness and boredom.

Then to my horror, the man in front turns and whacks his paddle hard against my sons.
"Cut it out kid, you are slowing us down".
I was shocked.
I promptly asked him not to speak to my son like that.
I was ignored.
I then deliberately encouraged my sons paddling all the way back.

I jumped out and ran for a hot shower.
My son was so hungry for lunch.
Our moods were not flash.

We did a little school work that afternoon.
Then - not to my surprise - he snapped.
Tears and tempers and a lot of anger.
I decided he would stay in and give the adults some time to themselves.
We were clearly on the outer.
And we needed some "us" restoring time.

By the time they came back, we had played cards and felt better.
I watched as they all sat at the dining room table and no-one spoke to us.
Two times I tried to initiate conversation and was just fobbed.
There were 3 others from Holland that were nice, but they were at the other end of the table.
As soon as desert was over, I took my son to bed.
I have never felt so lonely in all my life.
It was sad, as the rudeness and actions of some can really wreck it for others.
I am glad they are the exception to our travels.
Oh well - at least we leave tomorrow.



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

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