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Saturday 31 May
Tena, Ecuador

Heading further into the jungle

31St May

Started the day with a ‘completo’ breakfast- what the locals out here have- coffee, juice, eggs, bread, beef stew with rice…. All for £2.75! It set us up for out long bus journey further into the rainforest. On the bus I sewed a new zip onto my rucksack- I made the error of loving my cheaply made Bolivian rucksack and this is the 4th time I have had to repair it already.

We arrived in Coca in the blistering sunshine- we waited for a bus and by the time it came we were really sweaty. We got into the town centre and walked around to find a room. We found the cheapest room in town- but definitely the grottiest. It doesn’t win the ‘worst place we have stayed’ award as the toilets flush and it has a sort of shower- but the room itself it somewhere between brothel and crack den. Dirty mattress, rotting pillow, newspaper shoved between the gap of the wall and the ceiling, no window, broken fan, single beds. Yuck. We didn’t even get bed-sheets until we asked 3 times and waited for hours! It was a good $10 cheaper than the others though so a no-brainer!

As soon as we got in the heavens opened and we had torrential rain- the contrast was enormous. We got rid of lots of useful things in Brazil when it was 50 degrees and we couldn’t imagine being cold or wet again… and wanted to lighten up our bags (stupid). So I bought another big rain poncho in turquoise- with it on and my hood up I look something between a conservative Muslim and a jellyfish. We walked to the river- the Rio Napo. It sank in more than this is our Amazon adventure truly starting! We bought our first boat ticket for tomorrow and sat in  a bar for some cerviche. The rain was so heavy it set car alarms off! But it was lovely sitting under a balcony watching it. It didn’t last long then the sunshine came out again- but it had cleared the air so it felt nice. Going back to the riverside felt completely different in the sunshine- the water looked vibrant and green. In a tree by the river were tiny monkeys- about 5 of them- very cute. We went and bought some supplies for our river travel- snacks incase we get stuck and spicy Ecuadorian sauce we like to jazz up boring dinners on the boats. All of the shops and bars were showing the football and crowds were gathered around the TVs. For dinner we shared a ‘Maito’ a fish cooked in banana leaves- apparently it is typical Amazonian food. Barbeques are common here- lots of street sellers grilling all sorts of things.

Then back to our hovel to have a night in watching films we downloaded- we have to be at the boat dock at 7am tomorrow.

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