Ecuadorian Amazon Day 3

January 14, 2014

Waking up before sunrise, we piled into the canoe for some bird watching. Slowly drifting downriver, we watched and listened as half the forest went to sleep while the other half woke up. Bats flitting around the boat became birds while shadows solidified into beautiful plumage. We stopped for a bit in a clearing on the bank of the river watching flocks of parrots and other birds float between trees before continuing to drift down the river. A while later, we fired up the engine to zoom back up the river for a delicious breakfast.

After breakfast, we made our way back down the river to another hiking trail. While still seeing all sorts of cool plants, fungi, and animals, this trek had an extra focus on Huaorani hunting techniques. We learned how they make curare poison (and tasted the vine it is made from--bitter with a slight numbing effect), how to make and use blowguns, how to climb trees Huaorani style (with a vine wrapped between the ankles to provide extra grip), how to throw spears, how to make animal calls (with a special focus on the toucan call--rolling up a specific leaf into a cone and sucking air through it), and more. Lots of interesting tricks and quite an impressive array of techniques.

Later in the afternoon, we wove our own crowns before going back out in the canoe for some fishing. We pulled up a piranha, some catfish, and more before heading back in for dinner (including a taste of the fresh fish--tasty!).

Overall, quite an amazing day.

Oh, and I gained a traditional Waorani name--Moi. I guess this trip really belongs under Moi's awesome adventures...