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.January 11, 2001

We awoke at seven in the morning to the distant voices of school children and after a hearty breakfast we loaded the canoes for another jungle experience. A short distance up the Napo we took a tributary upstream where we observed life along the river.

It was now time to begin our jungle adventure. and we were quickly shown how if we got lost we could always survive by eating ants. Of course you just don't eat any old ant. - At least I wouldn't. Enough of ants for awhile, let's look at some of the more beautiful things.

As we continued we began to wonder if maybe we were lost. Of course, that was only a fleeting idea as we had our stalwart guides who could lead us through any adversity.

Continuing on despite the feeling that we had somehow left civilization behind, we soon came to remnants of items used by man in the hunt. There were even examples of familiar fruit in forms we didn't recognize. We've all seen banana plants but have you ever seen this view. It seemed the variety was endless.

Suddenly everyone was stopped and staring. That is some big hole.

Finally, Telmo with his machete in hand got us back to the river where...

It had been a great exploration and it was now time to return downstream. Waving to friendly natives along the way we eventually docked at a small museum explaining the Quichua Indian way of life. A series of models explained the various traps used by natives in the rainforest.

Following our tour we had refreshments and Alois our leader demonstrated his expertise (unlike his effort the day before) with a blowgun.

It was soon time to continue down river

Our last stop was a local animal rescue center, where wounded and displaced rainforest animals are cared for. Several species of monkeys wander around freely here. Ailing monkeys remain in semi-captivity until they are fit to return to their natural environment. Appreciating a full stomach, after their release many just won't go away. We were never sure when one might suddenly land on one of us.

As it would soon be getting dark it was time to return to La Casa del Suizo. On our canoe trip back we spent time soaking in the magnificent panorama of the Napo. Evening seemed to be a time when people would return to the river to wash and relax. Amazonia presented a very peaceful scene.

Tomorrow we go to Baños

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