Ecuador, land of agelessness
Last September, my good friend Cecilia and I went to Ecuador to visit the rainforest. We had reasons of plenty for going....this I know. For the weeds have been steadily growing. The destruction of the rainforest is of major concern to environmentalists, and being so far removed from this vital life-source it is hard to image its effects. What more can I do about this, except to fall on my knees beneath this big tree in the picture above, and mourn the loss of the ancient ones, and the knowledge they contain?
Not only are the forests being decimated as in our own country, but the tribal clans are continuing to drink tainted water, and becoming ill from it. They do not have access to filtered water as you and I do.
Personally, I just simply wanted to stand on the land and feel what the Earth was like on the equator. A simple desire, that turned into yet another bit of information needed for my spiritual and physical evolution.
Cecilia and I now feel comfortable enough with our traveling experiences that we can talk intelligently about what is needed to experience this ancient land firsthand.
Our accommodations and food were simple and pleasing, and the guides knowledgeable. We had no trouble adjusting to the heat or the altitude. There were actually no mosquitoes to speak of at that time of year.
Here are some highlights of the trip, please call or email me if you want to hear more!
Arrived in Quito, Ecuador, at night, seeing the lights sprawled across the mountains. Quito is about 9,000 ft, and the air is clear, until you move through the city of about 2 million persons. Cecilia's sister, Marianna Almeida, met us and we stayed with her for 3 days, enjoying the city.
On day 3 we took an hour flight to Lago Agrio, a very small airport, and met the tour guide from the Cuyabena Reserve. We hooked up with 8 other persons from England, Spain, Germany and the US, to take the 3 hour bus ride, and 3 hour motorized canoe ride to the Cuyabena retreat we stayed in for 5 nights. The bumpy ride was interspersed with sweat and dust.
About halfway to the river put-in, we stopped outside a little town and waited while the guide went to an elderly woman's home to pick up a cooler full of sandwiches and local fare for our lunch. We proceeded to town where we could buy drinks to have with our lunches and hit the bathroom.
Once under way on the river, we were escorted by hoards of butterflies, one remarkable one was a large, brilliant, blue one, whose name escapes me. When we arrived at the lodge, there were hundreds, brown, tan and white, with stripes and polka dots. One kissed my eyelid in passing. The guide had amazing eyesight, and could spot things I never did see...
A few highlights and a poem...
A pair of Toucans, crooning in the tree top; swimming in the lagoon at dusk each evening; sunrise birding in a dug out; visits to the indigenous communities; making bread our of the yuca plant; trees so old they have to be carbon-dated; piranha fishing; day and night-time hikes; rest time and local fare to eat along with good familiar food choices.
Sunrise on the lagoon, music to my ears; Varieties of birds and plants, water shapes like old mirrors
Feeling the strength of my body, joining the calm of my mind; Breathing in the love of life, capturing this moment in time
The vibration of love surrounds every sentient being; I feel it when I am still Cuyabena reaches me, teaches me.