Floating away to the Atlantic

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Puerto Misahuallí, Napo, Ecuador
Another late breakfast we were off by dugout canoe downstream to see the Sacha Samay Museo. Ricardo, using the models, explained and demonstrated how the locals use to capture animals and fish in their various traps. Local customs, food and cooking methods were also explained. Despite many attempts, no one was successful at hitting the parrot with the blow tube. Back aboard the dugout canoe and at a local village a stop to see how balsa tree ornaments were carved, decorated with a poker iron and then painted. Then across the road for a ceramics demonstration. The small bowl would take 5 days to make from go to wow. All the souvenirs were available for sale from US$4 upwards. I have no use for them but a nice reminder.

Lunch stop (rice) at a river side restaurant where the bus dropped us off. Next back up stream and soon most of us were overboard and bum down into the rubber tubes for a gentle float down stream. While the warm brown swift flowing Napo River is currently 5 metres above its normal flow of green water, it wasn't as fast as I thought it would be. This is Ecuador longest river and some 1,500 kilometres away joins the Amazon River where in another 3,000 kilometres will eventually reach the distant Atlantic Ocean. Wonder how long will it take me to tube there?

At 5 pm and across the river to the local Quechua village. Here 17 families live and form a community of 95 people. After watching the preparation of a traditional dinner: white inner heart of palm tree, live black beetle larvae, cassava, plantain that looks like a banana, this was followed by the local children performing a tradition dance. Then the local Sharman gave a short demonstration. Yes, dinner was last and was tasty and nutritious ... the black beetle tasted crunchy and was by then no longer moving around!

Photos and videos still be woven together to tell the story better.

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