7 hours after leaving Quito on a bus – where the family friendly film was Redemption 3, a lovely story about a prison toilet cleaner who became the best fighter in the world by kicking the living daylights out of his competitors to blood splattering effect (went down really well with the 10 year olds! (Lovely arms – K)) we arrived in Tena, a little town in the Amazon.
Wow! What a place. We are on a trip where the accomodation level is a basic standard but if this is a typical standard then we will be very happy. After settling in to our lovely cottage by the river we went off to meet the local villagers and experience a little bit of jungle life.
They seem to have 3 activities… clay pot making, beer making and hunting with blowpipes (although the digital cameras and mobile phones suggested that life wasn’t quite as basic as they made out) After watching them demonstrate beer making (tasted like a mix of mash potato and yeast but did have the required kick) and pot making we were invited to take part in a bit of blowpiping (insert your own jokes here).
In order to use the blowpipe we first had to be “inducted” into the tribe which basically involved a little bit of face painting. The lovely ladies from the village drew some neat traditional images on most of our faces and our guide Diago did the rest… although his ones were more 2 year old at playschool gone mad with the red paint, and suddenly there was a long queue for the ladies as people ran away from Diego…..
Once inducted we all got to try shooting a wooden parrot with a blowpipe from 10 metres. I hit the bird first time so get to add another skill to my repertoir (which now reads being annoying and using a blowpipe).