We headed to Tena in order to organise a trip into the Amazon. We found a nice agency, who hooked us up with a trip to his home (jungle) town of Limoncocha. As we had the luxury of a car, we decided to get up at 4am and drive the six-hour journey to the jungle, rather than plodding there on a bus. Juan got us there safe and sound, despite his insistent failure to notice speed bumps, and soon enough we were tucking into a hearty beef breakfast.
Our surroundings were amazing and we could see all sorts of wildlife from the balcony of our wooden hut. The first port of call was the lagoon, around which Limoncohca sits, and we found ourselves with wooden sticks in our hands and meat as bait, fishing for pirranhas. After what felt like a lifetime, and a heavy bout of rainfall, Imy finally caught herself one of the nibbly little cretins. And then another! Kat had long given up. On the way back to our base, we spotted our first Cayman (crocodile-type creature), known locally as Maria Fernanda after the temperamental manager of the reserve.
|Ready for the jungle|
We filled our bellies with more delicious food (the chef was amazing) and waited for the sun to set so we could embark on our night time tour of the lagoon. While we waited, a little girl brought over a baby monkey that they had rescued. It was absolutely tiny and made us coo a lot.
The tour in the dark revealed many cayman going about their business and some luminous frogs, as well as a blanket of fireflies that clung to the edge of the lagoon, giving it a magical sparkle.
On the second day of our jungle adventure, and joined by Becky (a frog enthusiast), we went for a hike through the jungle to find the oldest tree in the area. Along the way, Ramon (our guide) pointed out all sorts of flora and fauna for us to gawp at. We finally made it to the big tree, which was also home to a baby vulture – one of the biggest and ugliest babies we’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, the Pacha Mama (mother earth) decided it was time to water the garden, and it pissed down on us. Soaked through, we headed back to base for one last meal (fish) before setting off for Tena again.
After a good night's sleep, Juan and Julio took us to a nearby waterfall and lagoon. It was absolutely stunning and there wasn't another tourist in sight!
After the lagoon we went to a town which is famous for its stealing monkeys. With all our things safely locked away we went and found them. One was playing with a puppy for a while, not sure which was having more fun.
|Monkey and a pup|