We drove from Banos inland towards the Amazon jungle nearby Tena to our lodge on the river. Once we arrived into the extremely humid jungle we sat down and enjoyed a freshly prepared lunch and drinks at the lodge. We then went for a walk into the jungle towards a lake that had some freshwater fish in it and learnt to fish with wooden fishing rods. It was a relatively successful endeavour and we were able to catch some fish for our lunch the next day.
The next day our morning started with a walk into the jungle to learn about the Amazonian jungle lifestyle and how they utilised the plants. We were able to use a local plant to paint our faces which helps keep mosquitos at bay! We also put the flower “birds of paradise” on our nose for no particular reason except to make the gringos look like silly birds. The walk lead us to a small waterfall and a chance to sit down and rest our weary legs. It was a wonderful walk with really knowledgeable guides who were enthusiastic to make us learn about the jungle tribe’s way of life.
We then got to watch some of the children from the local school do traditional dances in traditional clothing. After this a local woman showed us how she makes beautiful pottery out of clay that is found naturally in the amazon and is hand painted using natural colours from the jungle. I couldn’t help myself buy a few of them at only a few dollars each!
On our third day in the jungle we went into the nearby town and got to play soccer with some of the kids.
We then crossed the river and went for a hike through the jungle towards the local shaman’s house.
The shaman showed us how to make baskets and fish traps out of bamboo and how to make chicha which is a drink made from fermented yucca (jungle potato).
They also had some of the jungle handicrafts and pottery.
He gave us the opportunity to try our hand (or mouth) at using a blow gun with darts made from cactus spikes. This was a really beautiful experience to be a part of and learn how the jungle lifestyle is still intact.
After lunch we then got to jump in inner tubes and float down the river. This started out beautiful and calm and picked up speed as we neared small rapids and avoided rocks (sorry for the lack of photos but I was having too much fun)!
Our second jungle experience was a lot less relaxing and more adventure packed but definitely a highlight of our whole trip!