We met Luis, the director, who greeted us and later gave a orientation. We were assigned to our individual cabins on stilts over the edge of the lagoon and made ourselves comfortable in cabin #3.
We rested. Then at the sound of a blown horn, went and had a wonderful lunch with a tree tomato dessert.
The lodge is powered in large part by solar power. The solar arrays on the covered walkway between the lounge and the dining hall feed into a bank of over 100 batteries. Because of the large draw of electricity for the kitchen refrigeration, they do need to supplement the solar power with a generator that often runs for a few hours in the morning and evening. One of the improvements they are hoping to accomplish is a more energy efficient refrigeration system.
Moving right along, we check out some big rubber boots and get fitted for the right size.
We’re heading into the jungle.
Here I realize there are too many worthwhile pictures to fit them all in the narrative.
So, several gallery’s are now being created to hold these additional pictures.
More pictures of the Lodge
More pictures of plants
More pictures of animals and insects
Textures – Charlotte loves to spot these
We meet at the hammock hut. This is the first time we see a traditional Achuar fire. A fire is kept going where three logs come together. Although it is small in this picture, there is a traditional Achuar chair next to the center post. The bottom is pyramid shaped but hollowed out on two sides. The top is an inverted turtle shell shape, complete with turtle head carved out on one end. It is all made from one piece of wood.
We use this time to check in with each other.
Everyone says how they are doing and what is on their mind. Everyone is doing well. No problems with relationships in the tribe. One or two are a little low on energy and get some emergence-C added to their water. We are joined by Simon (pronounced Simone). His Achuar name is Your.
He will be our Achuar guide this week. He is a strong 29 year old man who knows the jungle intimately. The group asks him a lot of somewhat personal questions. He is from a village that is an 8 day walk from here. He met his wife in Puyo and they have 4 children. He knows Spanish well and is learning English. He carries a machete. As we head into the trees a breeze comes up. Many leaves fall and we even saw a tree fall near us. We pause to listen to a group of howler monkeys in the distance.
Simone points out some mushrooms growing in a cup shape. They don’t eat these. They are poisonous. But they have a purpose. Young women are shown this mushroom as a guide to the shape that clay chichi drinking bowls should be molded into.
We stop at palm trees and learn the many uses they have for the tree. The forest gets dark and it begins to rain. Heavily. What’s a rain forest without rain? Soon all of those of us who did not wear rain gear are soaked to the bone, but we carry on. We come across a huge worm. Thick as a finger and a foot and a half long. There’s no pictures of any of this. We had to keep the cameras dry.
We saw termite holes and termite hives. We saw burrows for giant armadillos. We saw poisonous mushrooms and edible mushrooms. Big spiders. A flock of large crow-like hawks picked up their sounds and that was a sign the rain would soon be ending and it did. Making it back to our cabin we hung up all the clothes and hoped they would somehow dry. We brought back to the cabin a plant that is used for its fiber.
We were taught how to get the fiber from the leaves and then watched a demonstration of how it would be turned into a very strong rope.
It was impressive.
Our first sunset in the Amazon.
In the evening we had a meeting about the plan for tomorrow and the trails around the area.
next The Medicines of the Amazon