Posted by: Colin | July 15, 2010

Jungle day 2

The next day we got up early and went bird watching just after dawn. Some of the birds were quite comical. As I often do, when nature watching, I daydreamed. As always I humanised the birds into stereotypes of various cultures, famous people and races from around the world.  The small flamboyant bird would be Japanese. The large brute would be an African American redneck who linebacks at College.

We then went piranha fishing again. This time I managed to catch a piranha. I was careful when attempting to take off the hook not to get fingers in close to the piranhas teeth in case some due revenge was on the cards.

We then went back for lunch and another siesta. We spent longer in bed as we were planning for a night walk in the jungle. Of all things we were promised to see a few species of venomous scorpions and large spiders. Not the most enticing aim of a walk in a remote area of Eastern Ecuador.

When we woke we went for some more bird watching around the lagoon. But we ended up looking for pink dolphins. We managed to see some fins but nothing spectacular

At sunset we went for a swim in the lagoon. The lagoon is quite large. Before the oil discovery there were no tarmaced roads so the only reasonable way to approach this area was by sea plane. The sight reminded me of Indiana Jones and the lost ark. The first scene when he liberates the golden statue from the cave and escapes after numerous spears, arrows and blow dart are targeted at him

The water was quite dark. If you opened your eyes under water (something I don’t like to do) you could only see 2m. As the lagoon was at quite a high level, manitees come to the area. Sadly, the only sighting was Jamie’s wandering leg.

After sunset we went searching for Cayman. The method is to shine a very bright light into low water areas. If there as a reptile in the water you would see red eyes reflecting back. This is when you realise the Sci-fi and horror movie have some basis. We search for and hour and a half and saw a couple anacondas but no Cayman. As we were returning to camp we noticed another set of red eyes. These were very close to camp and between three trees which made maneuvering difficult. After some carefully motoring and some manual pushing of trees we got slower. To our delight we saw the Cayman in the low water. It was 4-5ft long and maybe 5-6 meter from the camp’s embankment. Not good when you have been waddling through the waters during daylight to load the canoe.

At dinner the guide showed us a book of wildlife in Ecuador. It was amazing that hardly any pages were passed without us seeing an animal we had spotted while in the jungle. Later he told a story of a previous trip where an anaconda had made its way up from the embankment to the grass in front of the huts. The guest of this tour were two families with a pair of twins. The story went that it was making it’s way up the hill to devour them. The guide’s friends then went to the canoes and collected some petrol and filled a water bottle with a rag at the top.  The result was flare grilled anaconda.

After dinner we played cards with the two chefs and the guide. We played cheat in Spanish which was trial as we didn’t know the words for the face cards. Later we played a Peruvian game which was a cross between Snap and Uno. Annoyingly the guide was a Cayman himself and had lighting reflexes. We finished off Ron and hit the sack for early morning start.


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