WARNING: PICTURE OVERLOAD!! I just couldn’t resist sharing as much as I could on our adventure in the Amazon Rain Forest
When we did the Amazon Rain Forest unit study with our homeschool co-op group a few years back, I never dreamed we would have the opportunity to visit it.
Pinch me because it was one of those things that I had dreamed of us doing as a family.
We savored EVERY minute!We stayed in a town called Banos and took the hour and half drive with a guide and driver to Puyo which is the edge of the rain forest.
What makes this area so cool to visit is that you can travel back and forth between the slopes of the Andes Mountains and the flatter levels of the rain forest, all within about a couple of hours.
Our first stop as we look so fresh here in the morning was this beautiful waterfall on the edge of town.Do you see that little red speck to the left of my Mr?
Yep, that is a cable car that takes you across the river and stops you in front of the waterfall.And here is one picture that I took where I am inside up several hundred feet in the air snapping this beautiful majestic waterfall.And as you can see, only Tiny, Mr. Senior 2013 and myself hopped on this baby. Mr. Awesome and my hubby wouldn’t touch foot on this cable car.
The view up here is MAGNIFICENT!I am telling you I think I love waterfalls almost more than I do beaches. Look at how HUGE this waterfall is on the way to Puyo.
Do you see that is a house on the bottom right side?Ugggg, being from Texas, do I ever recognize the mosquito spray. Out came the mosquito spray because we have now arrived to the area of the rain forest.
The next stop we made was to a reserve and rescue for the Amazon animals.
I have tons of pictures of the animals and will probably add them to my Rain Forest Unit Study page.Then of course they don’t mind if a few monkeys run around free.
This little guy was using that stick to grab his breakfast (an innocent spider).
He was using it to stick down into the center of the plant. I just had to show you the monkey that was near the place where we were staying.
The windows at out rooms have bars on them so that we can open them at night, but keep out critters like this.
I like to view him from a distance and slept great at night knowing dogs were keeping watch at our hotel. They did chase one monkey on the rooftop one morning while we were sleeping.Then the next stop was to eat lunch and visit a indigenous village in the Amazon.
We ate a traditional meal from the amazon, which is fish cooked in the banana leaves. It is some of the best tasting tilapia I have ever had.
Something about cooking it in the leaves gives it a real flavor.Then we arrived at this village across the river.
The only way to get to it was by crossing this bridge, which swings a little bit. Eeek!!I wanted you to see the length of it.After got into the village, our guide explained how the huts are made by palm leaves. It takes like two months to build it.
It was so strong and sturdy AND it started raining when we got there and we warm and dry inside.
Then we had to taste Chicha, which is a fermented drink made from maize. The longer it ferment supposedly the sweeter it tastes.
We tasted it on the second day and all I can say is that is must be an acquired taste. Tiny had to chase his Chicha down with some water. The Kichwa village showed off some of their “trophies” that they had gathered from the rain forest like the boa skin and the ocelot.Then they took us to their hut, which housed their hand-made crafts. Mr. Senior 2013 and I sat down for local face painting.
These two little Kichwa girls were the ones that painted our faces and sold crafts to us. We never did see their parents, but I know they must get tired of people coming.
But aren’t these girls so beautiful? I do know that children are taught adult responsibilities early.Of course we had to try our hand at blow darts. Mr. Awesome was pretty good at it.There was plenty of time for hands-on learning as they showed us the bones of different animals and how to identify them.Now, after we ate and had fun, we were ready for our arduous trek in the Amazon Rain Forest.
First, we have to have a geography lesson by studying the map of where we are going and understanding how many people make up a community.
Of course like I mentioned the rain came but our guide was prepared with ponchos and rain boots.
The first leave he showed us, I recognized.That part was easy. The rest of the leaves, not so much.
The first leave he showed us was what our fish was cooked in and he was demonstrating how to fold food in it if we had to stay over night in the rain forest. From there, our guide went on to strip palm leaves and show the boys the art of weaving.We could hardly walk any distance until he showed us different leaves. We smelled leaves that were lemon and anise.
We chewed leaves that had a anesthesia effect. He said the locals chews the leaves when they have a tooth ache. You get a wad, chew, chew and then spit.
I had a deaden tongue for a while.Our guide also pointed out not only the beautiful orchids growing all around, but a seedling, which I had never seen.
This is like a ceiba tree but its different because it has real hard roots which serve as a protection. Too on each side of this tree are palms, which are black. The spears and things we bought are made of this palm tree.
The palms look like they have a finished look and are just beautiful.
Of course though this is where the tarantulas like to live as our guide pointed out. They like to live under the roots coming out. So were careful not to touch these trees during our trek.
We crossed three rivers, holding arm and arm as we waded across them, but several of the rivers had natural bridges that the locals tried to add some hand rails to.
Of course the trip wouldn’t be complete without seeing a frog that lives in the bromeliads.
Our guide got this one out of his cozy home so we could see him up close.
We hiked for a good couple of hours or more until we got to this TOTALLY WORTH it waterfall called Hola Vida. (Hello Life)
It was SO worth the journey and the water was ice cold. We sat there and listened to the sounds of the waterfall and birds as we had a nature moment.
So much fun and such beautiful creation that it is so hard to put it all into words. A true life experience.We came back with some crafts. The taffy and the deck of cards are from the local but the other things like the spears and knives were hand made. I just had to have that beautiful handmade necklace.
All of these things were made from natural products from the rain forest.
Trekking the Amazon Rain Forest was only part of what we did on our vacation.
I will have to show you the other things we did while we were in Banos. It is such a beautiful little town.
However, we won’t forget so easily our Amazon Rain Forest experience.
Hugs and love ya,