Monday, August 23, 2010

Ecuador - The adventure Continues

Papallacta was everything I would hope it would be and more. We spent one luxurious night in the hot pools, had delightful cheap (like all food in Ecuador) dinner, and loved our first stop on the trip. In fact, we wished it had been more than one night.

In the morning the trouble started. We started taking Malarone (the supposed best anti-malaria medication) since we would be entering the malaria zone the next day. In the morning I ate the most disgusting breakfast I have ever had in my life. I don´t know why I ate it, but I did. It was (my best description follows) eggs, sausage, bread chunks immersed in a soup of red sauce. The best way that I can describe the red sauce is to call to mind tinned spaghetti, or alphagetti.

 What follows is the most violent vomiting I have ever experienced... out the window of the bus. The roads in Ecuador are somewhat windy - you know, what with it being in the Andes mountains and all. Public transportation is great, but when I got on the bus, I didn´t have a seat. I had to stand for a while. Then I started feeling a bit sicker. Then I asked Jen what I should do if I was going to throw up. She suggested emptying out our chip bags and using those and vomit bags. I suspected the vomit volume was going to exceed 3,  50 gram bags. I was right. Instead at the last minute, I traded Jen for the window seat. We pushed the window open as far as it would go, and I proceeded to vomit as hard as I ever have while 40 Ecuadorians cheered. Thanks guys.

We arrived in Tena - which for us was essentially the gateway to the Amazon. I had to ride for 40 more minutes on a gravel road in a truck, not improving the feeling I was having really. Upon arriving, I tried to be sociable, failed, hid in my room, came out for 5 minutes at dinner, and continued to throw up... and wait for it... have explosive diarrhea AT THE SAME TIME. Thank you Ecuadorian food poisoning. Love love love.

Next day we visited a rescue zoo center - Amazoonica (which is a lovely place that you can volunteer at). I forced myself to go (45+ minutes on bumpy gravel roads, followed by 30 minuted boat (think motorized canoe) ride). Yes, great idea. I love animals. I love monkeys. I love not puking more. When we got back to the lodge there was some sort of vegatable potato soup served. As far as I am concerned it was the healing soup of the Amazon gods. That was my turn around.

Ok - so after two nights at Shangrila - the amazon jungle lodge, we moved on to a community stay. Yes, a community in the Amazon. You know, where they don´t have electricity. Let me summarize the trip, since i am running out of internet time here.
  • bamboo hut with holes in the walls big enough that when we woke up there was a stray dog under Jen´s bed
  • 6 hour trek through the jungle... in gumboots. 
  • Tilapia served whole - with the head. I called that dish "fish with a face."
  • Favorite quote from our guide on our first night, when we were going to bed at 8 pm, since it gets dark at 6.30. ¨"Might as well go to bed, nothing else to do. You can cry, you can scream - but no one can hear you."
  • 100% DEET did not even begin to deter the bugs. Not even close. You should see all the bites on my legs. The malarone continues, even though it makes me nauseous every day.
This pretty much concludes my time in the Amazon, except for I have to mention Merido, the Ecuadorian flea bitten, mutt. I loved that dog. I fed her food under the table, even though I am sure it offended everyone and probably made her sick. Loved her.

Ok. That actually does not even bring me up to speed. After that we spent 2 days in Baños, and now have been in Cuenca for a day. If I could spend another day anywhere, it would Baños for sure. But more on those adventures later.

Short flight to Quito tomorrow evening. Still have Cayambe and Otovalo to go! Andean sweaters for everyone!

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