Staying in my hostel were a couple of really lovely American girls who lived in New York. They kindly asked if I wanted to join them for a day trip to the jungle, and since I had been pretty much a loner for a few days I jumped at the chance.
So off we set in a hired taxi for the day, as recommended by the owner of the hostel. Finally it was a bright sunny day
Initially we visited the zoo just outside of the city, which was ok. I am not really a big fan of zoos to be honest. After this we headed to a lake to go and have a look at some massive, and I mean massive fish and then onto a small village of indigenous people (but was a bit touristy), so obviously I got involved:
The best bit, though, was our dug-out canoe trip down el Rio Puyo. Although very rocky at times, on the whole it was so peaceful and just amazing to take in the serenity and wildlife on the way. I was just speechless listening to the chorus of birdsong accompanied by the lapping water alongside the boat. Looking to the riverbank I spotted locals bathing, swimming, washing clothes and fishing in the water. This river is life for them and not much looks like it has changed for hundreds of years. It was so amazing to finally see something as it would have been when Richard Spruce was travelling these waters.
After a good hour or so we jumped out of the canoes and re-joined the taxi to make the short trip to the opening in the jungle to a waterfall, which was the final stop. We had a lunch stop here, and of course Samantha and I had a beer. Good times! A half hour trapse through the jungle led us to the opening of the waterfall, which was truly stunning. I actually said to the girls that after seeing Iguazu falls I was not that bothered by waterfalls anymore, however this was beautiful. The way the light fell onto it from above and the tropical greenery growing around it just framed it perfectly.
After a freezing cold dip and bit of clambering around on the wet rocks, we ambled back to the car for the glorious sunset drive back to Baños. What a wonderful day!