For our second jungle adventure we moved to Tena, a large town and starting point for various jungle trips. Our neighbours for the duration were four puppies that provided a great distraction at any time. We took a white-water rafting trip (grade 2 - 4 rapids) with a a small family company. It turned out we were the only paying customers, so it was basically a family day out for the company brothers and sisters. The river ride was wild and Rachel was the only person launched from the raft.
We met Ollie and Jo, fellow Brit travellers and shared some adventures with them. One day climbing or scrambling through a narrow steep valley to find waterfalls. "Are we wearing the right footwear for this?"..... "Oh yes, flip flops are fine". Happily, Mr Sensible (me) didn't trust that and wore trainers.
One evening our campsite hosts, Pablo and Marcia, laid on a BBQ including a lethal alcoholic cocktail - home made sugarcane hooch being the main ingredient! They also took us on a fishing trip along the River Napo. Most of a day with three boats, one large net and three fishing rods - not a single fish. A lot of fun, but balancing in the centre of a canoe isn't my forte. Shortly after setting off, I was consigned to sitting in the bottom of the boat, so as not to over balance it!
We moved on to camp at a lodge on the edges of the jungle. Gran Selva Lodge provides night and day tours into the jungle. The owner, an arachna-expert, took us on the night walk, hunting for spiders, bugs and reptiles. He is super enthusiastic about his subject and although we probably only went a few hundred metres into the jungle, he found plenty of lethal and non lethal spiders, plus plenty of bugs and one poison toad. Apparently the poor things get squeezed by the local kids as their venom is hallucinogenic.
The next day was a 5 hour jungle trek with a local Medicine Man, showing us medicinal plants and providing Rachel the opportunity to taste or eat
a wide variety of leaves, bark, root and flowers - some tastier than others. The trek was hard work, but well worth the effort. The main highlight, which I may never repeat, was a swing on a jungle vine. I found myself about 20ft in the air, grip slipping and uttering a few choice words. Rachel, Ollie and Jo were more composed and totally relaxed.
The adventure continues..