BootsnAll Travel Network

Biking, Rafting, and the Jungle

I arrived this afternoon in Lima, Peru, after a 27 hour bus ride from Guayaquil. But despite being filthy and cracked out, I thought it best to update the blog again, as I am still behind and want to be on track for my upcoming visit to Macchu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and other famed Peruvian jewels.

After my Galapagan adventure, I decided I couldn’t leave Ecuador without a foray into the jungle. Anybody who knows me knows that living among anacondas, crocodiles, bugs, and things that go bump in the night is not really my style. So I reached a compromise with myself by heading for Puyo, which, although still certifiable “jungle” is close enough to civilization to make it slightly less threatening for the outdoors-impaired.

My “Extreme Jungle Tour” (the official title) began with a 17 km bike ride out of Baños, the town where I booked the adventure. We biked through gorgeous countryside and got to view the lovely cascades that surround the town:

Jungle 1

Jungle 2

After 17 km my ass was sore, but I decided to make things fair by making sure my arms got sore as well. Rafting was awesome! About five minutes into the trip a girl fell out (my partner actually, so I was the one responsible for pulling her back into the boat), but otherwise we were okay (there were still enough huge waves and close calls to make it fun, however):

Jungle 3
Wet suits are so flattering!

Jungle 4

After about another 17km in the water, we entered the car portion of the journey and drove another hour and a half to our jungle refuge, which was amazing and perched in the trees:

Jungle 12

My bug proof bed (and you can bet I conducted a thorough search every night before sleeping in it):
Jungle 11

The view from our hammock perch:
Jungle 7

The jungle was full of all kinds of interesting creatures, medicinal plants, and lovely views:

Jungle 5

The appropriately titled “pornographic palm”:
Jungle 6

The dragon’s blood tree, which makes this awesome paste that you put on cuts to cure them:
Jungle 9

We waded through this river as mosquitos feasted on my body:
Jungle 10

Jungle fashion:
Jungle 13

Canoe ride down the river with the Australian couple who were also on the tour:
Jungle 14

This view was worth the arduous, sweaty hike up to it:
Jungle 15

Jungle paint and my guide’s idea of a joke:
Jungle 20

As our jungle was relatively close to civilization, we also got to visit a sugar cane farm, and even perform the manual labor needed to bring forth the juice (although just chewing on cane also tastes amazing):
Jungle 18

The fruits of our labor:
Jungle 19

The trip ended with a visit to a wild animal reserve. Sort of Ecuador’s version of a zoo, only the animals are for the most part free to roam (including an anaconda that the keeper claimed she had seen snaking around the day before).

We caught up with this gorgeous maucau:
Jungle 21

This beastly tapir (the biggest mammal in the jungle):
Jungle 22

And upon leaving, this pesky little monkey who stole a pack of cigarettes and put on a show:
Jungle 23

After surviving my adventure unscathed (except for mosquito bites), I am almost sorry I didn’t go for the really scary jungle. Then again, there’s jungle and Peru and Bolivia as well…

More to come from Incan ruins….


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