Tarantula outside our cabin at Sacha Lodge (Yvonne Smith)
Leaving Quito by pick up from the Adventure Life tour company, we head for the airport (about 1.5 hours drive). The airport is brand new, it actually just opened before we arrived in late February. The road into the airport is great but there is no infrastructure surrounding it so traffic was crazy. We drove through both old and new areas, Nicky questioned why parts of Quito looked so ''broke''. We told him that it was very old. He then said, ''so did God make Quito before Toronto?'' Our flight was slightly delayed, we were surprised that the flight was about 99% male, we found out later that Coco and along the Napo river is big in oil production. The flight was short, 30 minutes over snow-capped Andes peaking through the clouds. The temp at arrival was 30 degrees and after a quick bus transfer to the river, we set off for a 2.5 hour boat transfer to the lodge. The river ride reminded me of being north in cottage country with the exception of boats, cottages and the addition of palm trees! We arrived to our next transfer point where we had to hike for 30 minutes to a lake and then get in canoes and paddle across to the lodge! I have to say by this point, I was wondering what the lodge would be like, so remote in this pure wilderness. The lodge is a full ecolodge and run like a camp. We have guides, schedules, meal times etc. Our family is joined by a lovely Canadian couple from Ottawa, our German guide who is the naturalist and an indigenous guide named Geraldo. Our cabin is adjoining with the kids with a sitting room in between - very simple but clean and comfortable. The cabins are screened all the way around the top with a porch looking out into the jungle. The rooms do not have locks but are equipped with dry boxes for storing cameras and electronics because of the extreme humidity. After our first dinner, our guides take us on a night hike (we were all fitted for giant wellies up to the knees). Saw so many small animals, banded cat-eyed snake, speckled caiman, tarantulas, turtles, tree frogs, and giant crickets the size of bread plates !!
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