Ecuadorian Amazon Day 1

January 12, 2014

Waking up at the crack of dawn, we started today with some breakfast. At 0600, Cristina (our rainforest guide), Jose (our driver), and Anhel (one of the managers of the rainforest lodge we'll be staying at) arrived to pick us up. We jumped in the van and began our journey down the avenue of volcanoes to Shell to catch our flight into the rainforest.

Along the way, we stopped to grab some ice cream. Then we stopped in Baños for breakfast (I guess this would be second breakfast) and to pick up the other members of our group for this trip, Johan, Pia, and Vincent. We stopped one final time at a waterfall near Baños before finishing up our journey down to Shell. And the real fun had yet to begin!

From Shell, we were meant to take two planes to get us into the Huaorani territory in the rainforest. Sadly, one of the planes was out of commission and so Johan, Pia, Vincent, and Anhel headed out while Alex, Christina, and I waited for the plane to fly out and back. When it was our turn, we climbed into the Cessna 206 to find a student pilot would be in command on this trip. This would be interesting...

A short but interesting ride later and we were in the rainforest. Greeted by Domingo, our indigenous guide, and several more of the Huaorani people, we made our way to the dugout canoe that would take us further into the jungle.

Riding down the river Shiripuno (a source river for the Amazon) through the beautiful forest, we arrived at the Huaorani lodge where we will be spending the next few days. After a bit of lunch, we had a couple free hours before a night hike through the jungle. We took the opportunity for a quick dip in the river.

During the night walk, we saw many different animals and heard even more. Snakes, frogs, toads, spiders, insects, and more. It is quite clear that this is going to be a great trip!