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...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

12 July 2011

Crossing the river

11th July 2011

This is our last day in the jungle. Per, Anita and Andreas (I hope I got our Danish friends’ names right) went home this morning so today we were just a group of two. We took a boat across the wide Napo River to the Yasuni National Park as our guide Dan had been told that a trail had recently been cut from the riverbank into the park; this is a different habitat and a few different species are likely. Also, with the National Park being a million hectares to Sacha’s two thousand, bigger mammals are more likely.

The trail was a bit different to the trails in Sacha, which are all well-trodden and pretty much flat. We knew it would be more fun when Columbia undid his rucksack and pulled out a machete. In the end there wasn’t too much chopping needed, but there were lots of very muddy slopes and everyone slithered over at least once.

We saw a species of monkey not found at Sacha, the Monk Saki with a huge fluffy tail. That brings our monkey total to seven on this jungle tour. We also got a very (very) brief glimpse of a Paca, essentially an Agouti but a bit bigger, and on the way back to the lodge we glimpsed an Acouchi, which is… well, it’s essentially an Agouti but a bit smaller. So we’ve done well for random rodents. Maureen saw two Coati Mundis but I was dawdling behind and missed them. And Columbia almost trod on a Bushmaster, quite a rare jungle viper and also quite deadly.

So before we leave the jungle, here’s a random list of impressions from our stay:

  • It’s humid, unbelievably humid. I washed a T-shirt on the first day, and it has been hanging to dry ever since. I am reliably informed it will actually never dry here
  • It has been cloudy with occasional rain the whole time, although the jungle itself is a huge umbrella
  • I love staying in places where the wildlife is all around. Just around the lodge there have been: tamarins, agouti, anaconda, bats, frogs, lizards and various birds
  • There are ants everywhere. A study showed that one kapok tree had more species of ants living in it than the whole British Isles (50 vs 46)
  • It takes a lot of effort to keep tourists nice and comfortable in the Amazon – by my calculation the staff:tourist ratio was pretty much 2:1

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