Our time in Baños was really special. We ended up meeting wonderful people and had a great time hanging out with our hostel staff and guests. It’s amazing how every encounter with another person enriches your life and adds to your adventure.
Our journey from Baños to the amazon jungle entailed an overnight bus journey as well as a very memorable stopover in the town of Lago Agrio. We arrived at our accommodation at 6:30am and spent an hour resting in hammocks before devouring a scrumptious breakfast and many cups of strong, black coffee. A quiet day in and around the pool was just what the doctor ordered. Bliss!!
In the afternoon a lovely British family arrived. Mom, dad and a nine year old twin boy and girl. We spent the rest of our day and night chatting and swimming and falling in love with these people.
The next day was the start of our amazon jungle adventure. After breakfast and big goodbye hugs, we got on a bus for our two hour journey to the jungle. At the bridge we enjoyed a lovely lunch before getting into our canoe for a two and a half hour trip to our lodge. What an experience! Incredible, breathtaking, life changing, indescribably wonderful. We saw many different kinds of monkeys, birds and other animals and my personal favourite (to see only!!), an anaconda!
Arriving at our lodge by canoe was such a treat! It is the only way to get there, by the way. The first thing you see is the “resting area”, which is a stunning space consisting of bamboo furniture and colourful hammocks on a wooden plank floor and under a palm branch roof, surrounded by bamboo railings with “BAMBOO LODGE” crafted out of thick pieces of bamboo. Behind and to the side are wooden walkways leading to the kitchen and dining area on the left and the rooms to the right, all in similar style. We have arrived in paradise.
Over the next four days we had the adventure of a lifetime. I had to pinch myself several times. There I was, in the heart of the amazon jungle, with my precious family, experiencing things I never even dreamed of. Wow, wow, wow!!!
Among the highlights were our daily sunset swims in Lake Grande and watching the most spectacular sunrise from a boat in the middle of the lake. I will never forget this. It has topped every experience I’ve ever had.
We also rowed in smaller canoes, searching for pink dolphins and caimans (crocodiles) and went on walks in the jungle and swamps in rubber boots and covered in insect repellent. On our night walk we encountered the mother of all tarantulas. Bigger than a big man’s hand and fat and hairy and everything a tarantula is supposed to be. No other spider will ever scare me again. I’ve experienced the ultimate. Up close and personal. And I didn’t even scream. I wanted to, though!
Bamboo Lodge can host 20 guests. We had it all to ourselves. We had our own personal chef (who produced amazing meals!!) and our own personal guide, Diego, and a captain driving us all over the amazon in a motorised canoe. Both our guide and captain were unbelievably good at spotting animals. We saw two anacondas, nine types of monkeys, the elusive pink dolphin, caiman, many different species of birds, beautiful, brightly coloured butterflies and so much more. Diego went out of his way to ensure we had the best possible experience. And he is VERY knowledgeable. We learnt a ton of things and enjoyed every minute of being with this friendly, warm, wonderful man.
We bumped into our British friends three times. Once in the middle of the lake during our sunset swim (where all the guests from all the lodges gather in canoes every day), once in the jungle and once exploring the river by boat. Every time we all went wild with excitement. We also saw a few other familiar faces from various places across South America. Always such a nice surprise.
We were rather sad to leave the amazon jungle. The kids said we should have stayed longer, but we all knew it would never have been long enough. With very full hearts and the most beautiful, precious memories, we said our sad goodbyes to the place and people we would never forget. The amazon jungle was everything we hoped for and so much more.