Wednesday, February 11, 2015

reina de la selva

IYesterday I went on a tour into secondary jungle. We drove through a series of remarkable stone tunnels to Puyo, in search of 11 rain ponchos. 
The area was considerably more tropical than BaƱos, and nearly 1000 meters lower. 
Pulling on high rubber boots, we set off for a hike to a waterfall. 
Paulo our guide showed us how to weave with palm fronds. 
These same pliable palms are used to make "Panama" hats, which are really from Ecuador. 
The flowers were glorious. 
The trees and air plants even more extraordinary. 
A palm is dwarfed by a giant fig. 
Then it began to pour. We were all completely soaked. a few people went for a swim behind the cascade

All this rain is very good for the plants. I didn't mind the rain so much because it was warm and soft, but crossing the surging rivers on rickety bridges and once without one was a little terrifying. 
We dried out a bit after lunch, though my hat is still wet a day later. 
Then we set off for my favorite part: canoeing through tiny rapids. 
Jan from Ottowa proclaimed me an honorary Canadian. 
Our penultimate stop was a Kitchua community on the river where we learned to blow darts and got our faces painted. 
The very last was a zoo for rescued animals, in the near darkness. 
I saw monkeys and a jaguar and macaws, I think.