August 27, 2006 - Ecuador, Day 5

The next-to-last morning in the Amazon, we head off to the heart of an island in the river.
Deep in a swamp, we find what we're looking for...

A freaky, prehistoric looking bird.

We see a few of them here.

Bill and Jill pose at the entrance to the trail.

Everything here fights for survival. Even the trees have thorns.


Cool looking fruits on a indigenous bush can be used...

...for tatoos. They last 2-3 days.

Papayas tree.

[Normal] bananas.

The school has a pineapple field. The local pineapples aren't yellow; they're white - and taste different. They're not quite as sweet.

We head back to the lodge on a very interesting trail. Remember the road to Catehena from Romancing the Stone?
(The picture doesn't show it, but this is a long staircase DOWN.)

Mom holds on to a flimsy 'railing' 30 feet above the river.

No more guardrail for this hill.

The bridge is half out.

Finally in 'civilization' - the 'town' where the lodge workers live.

Back on Yachana grounds.

Check out the spider web. It is probably holding 5 pounds of soaking wet leaves.

I pose with Guan, the evil turkey.
(He really is a 'guan,' whatever that is.)

I forgot her name.

Dinner time.
Caroline, Gail, and Gordo tie up some local tilapia in leaves to be smoked on the grill.

Time for the appetizer.

Gordo and I volunteer to help.
We're asked to snap their necks (yes, their big enough to have necks) and skewer them for roasting.

We do as were asked...
After they're skewered, they're sliced once deeply in a line half their body length, allowing their insides (whatever that is) mushrooms out.

Grubs on the left, fish on the right.

Time to eat them...
They taste like very, very fatty bacon. It's actually like raw fat, but wrapped in crispy, smoky flesh.

After the rain, a waterfall appeared behind where we eat.

Pottery time. Mom and Jill pose by their bowls.

OK, their pots sucked, but luckily a local chick is on hand to teach and repair people's pottery disasters.

Basket time.

Mom concentrates. Jill takes a breather.

Tomorrow, we head back to Quito.