I woke to the sound of a rooster crowing before the sun even came up. When you go to bed shortly after sundown you wake up really early. I lay in bed for about another hour before getting up for breakfast. We had granola cereal, fruit and eggs. At 9:00 we headed out for our jungle walk. They said img_6642we needed rubber boots and they were right. They provided the boots and the Amazon provided the mud. It was raining again pretty hard but we were told that was good because when the sun comes out the water from the ground evaporates and it because unbearable humid. I'll take their word for it.

The trail started out pretty easy and img_6667started to get harder. The guide was Quichua and spoke only her native tongue and Spanish. Thankfully there was a couple of German people going and the man spoke Spanish and English so he translated for us. We wouldn't have gotten nearly as much out of it had he not. Once the trail started getting harder Mo and I started to fall behind. Once we got really far behind Mo said she thought she should go back but I didn't think that was possible considering it was the Amazon and getting lost in it wasn't in my plan. We finally caught up and they decided to put Mo in front so we could go at her pace. She didn't think she could do the rest of the trail and neither did anyone else but she surprised us all and made it to the top and back down. I'm sure she'll sleep fine because of this. We walked for several hours through rain, over roots, across streams and through mud. Our guide stopped every once in a while to explain about all the different trees and their medicinal use. One had blood red juice that works as an antiseptic. One smelled like onions and is used to calm the stomach. We also saw a balsa tree which was interesting to me as I loved Balsa wood when I was a kid. After the climb to the top of the hill we descended on a different but very steep and muddy path to the zoo. It's really not a zoo but a wildlife reserve. They help animals get well and attempt to release them. Twenty five percent get released, the same percent die because they're just in too bad of shape and half just live there permanently. Our English speaking guide for the zoo explained that some are just too used to humans to ever live in the wild again. We saw Capybaras which are the worlds largest rodent. They look like a waist high guinea-pig. I actually think they're very cute and lovable and you don't hear me say that often. They also had toucans, ocelots and many jungle parrots and Macaws. After the zoo we got in a canoe and went back to the lodge. We had originally planned on taking two excursions but were very tired so we decided to lay around in the hammocks and just rest while waiting for dinner. I fell asleep in the hammock then moved indoors to my bed to take a nap. Dinner was at 7 again and we ate meatballs, rosemary potatoes, cucumbers and broccoli. We also had this wonderful green soup that didn't taste like anything but turned out to be crème of spinach! I ate spinach, that's the amazing thing.