After a surprisingly good nights sleep (I used ear plugs to drown out the bugs) we hitched a ride up river with Washington the boat man and went for a hike through the forest to a waterfall with Marco the guide. Thankfully not many people speak English so the Spanish is given some use. We hiked for about 2 hours stopping at various plants and insects and walked our way up to a spectacular waterfall.
We all jumped in to the icy water and watched while the boys did “brave” things with rock faces and jumping in… Laura gave the rock jumping a go and had to be talked down after a fair amount of dithering – it wasn’t very high but you had to jump just so, and the ledge she was on was slippy – braver than me that one!
We hiked back down to the river and had some lunch on a little island before jumping into giant inner tubes and floating back down the river to the lodge. It was going really well, Wayne and I floated gently down the river holding hands (awe) until we hit the darn rapids and before I knew it, 4ft waves were crashing over my rubber ring as I floated backwards down the river bumping into waves and rocks… I swung between laughing hysterically and clinging on for dear life – I made it without a dunking! Wayne on the other hand managed to sink his u-boat and spent the rest of the trip with just his head poking out the hole… hilarious.
Late afternoon we went to the animal rescue and herbal centre for a guided walk with “Anaconda” the leader, who with his armfuls of tattoos and a ocelot for a best mate was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever seen. There were 2 little ant eaters running around his feet that were cuter than puppies and a whole heap of medicinal plants. There was one that is basically rohypnol that the dubious members of society can use to drug people by adding to drink or even paper that when you touch knocks you out… no such thing as a free gift in South America.
Followed by a terrifying journey back to the lodge with 8 of us in the back of a taxi pick up… like a motorcycle display team balancing and holding on for dear life (without the grace or the insurance) while the locals pissed themselves, but that’s the way they roll in the jungle.