Guacamayo Ecolodge Cuyabeno Amazon Jungle Ecuador

We are awoken in the night by the loudest thunder I have ever heard in my life as lightning brightly lights our room in the Amazon Jungle.

Amazon
©Exploramum and Explorason – rain falls on our Amazon jungle Ecolodge

There are gaps in the roof and so I can see the flashes of lightning illuminating into our dwelling place clearly and this is not how I want to commence on Day 4.

Drip And Drop

Amazon jungle Ecolodge
©Exploramum and Explorason – BATS!
But, then – the roof leaks.
A drip, drip, drip on my feet and head.
And a small puddle all over our clothes.

So I am up, trying to shove the damp clothes in a wooden box/shelf in the corner. Then the bats start. Circling in the roof – but worse – while I sleep one drops a nice poo right where I tread in the morning. GROSS!

Today doesn’t start well. I am tired and achy, and ALL our clothes are wet. We do not have a dry piece of clothing to wear, and damp bat poo permeates the air.

Huge Critters

Amazon jungle
©Exploramum and Explorason – huge cockroaches

Suddenly, there is a cockroach as big as my index finger crawling on me! I am a tough single Mum, but jungle life is getting to me as I flick it off.

We dress in our wet and smelly clothes and head for breakfast.

Toucan Spotting

Amazon
©Exploramum and Explorason – a toucan sits in a tree despite the rainy weather

On the way, we get a chance to see another Toucan, so this peps me up a bit.

As breakfast is undercover we dry out a bit, but the humidity makes a mix of cold and hot on our skin – it’s very uncomfortable!

Poncho Pair

Amazon jungle
©Exploramum and Explorason – modeling our ponchos

It is bucketing down with rain, so we don our massive poncho’s that are provided, as we are to go paddling today in canoes.

I tie knots in the corners of my sons’, so he doesn’t trip over them as his goes beyond the ground. There are none that are his size, so I figure kids don’t come here very often. The ponchos are actually thick plastic but they are quite uncomfortable to wear and restrict movement so we take them off when the rain lightens.

Towed

Amazon jungle
©Exploramum and Explorason – paddling out in the rain

Canoes are then towed behind the motorboat to a small inlet hidden in the trees. Now it is a steady pounding of rain and it stings my face. This is a bit of a challenging world-school experience today.

My son is having a hard time paddling with the heavy poncho over his lifejacket so again, he takes his off and we paddle to the “hidden lake”. No motor boats are allowed here.

Manatee

Amazon jungle
©Exploramum and Explorason – the guide spots a manatee
As we enter this area our guide is excited. He sees a manatee in the distance.

Our guide has only seen 3 in 15 years with tour groups. It looks like a rubber tire bobbing in the water.  As they are rare, Explorason is now constantly told not to move and to keep quiet. Eventually, I think he will pop a blood vessel, as he is wet, cold and the conditions are tough. Sitting for over half an hour waiting for a black thing to bob in the water is as boring as anything especially when we really can’t see it. He really has had enough. Now my son is 8-years-old this week and this is meant to be his big birthday present, yet he is not enjoying it at all.

Bathroom

Thankfully, my tiny bladder comes to the rescue, and I need to go to the bathroom so we have to leave. We paddle to the tree stump area on the left and I am told to climb up the tree to pee out in the open in the middle of the lake in front of people I don’t know! I hit my head right on a broken branch as I climb up and as I squat in my poncho over the hollow area of the tree. Now I want to cry! This is the worst toilet break of my life. I’m tough, but this is tough to the extreme as we have just been out in the cold and wet for too long.

Paddle Problems

As we paddle back to our Amazon lodgings it is about 12 noon or later by now. My son is so tired, hungry and cold, and really just not coping but he is doing his best to get back as quickly as he can. Alas, as he can’t paddle correctly, his paddle drags it in the water with tiredness. Then to my horror, the man in front turns (the guest who “hates kids”) turns and whacks his paddle hard against my sons.

“Cut it out kid, you are slowing us down”.

I am so shocked!  I’ve just had enough of this ‘kid-hating’ man and his attitude towards my son, so I promptly asked him not to speak to my son like that. But I am ignored and the guide does nothing either. I then deliberately encourage my sons paddling all the way telling him how wonderful a job he is doing.
Finally, back at our Amazon Ecolodge, we cannot wait to get out of the canoe – in fact we just wish we could leave as this man is wrecking our time.  We jump out and ran for a hot shower. My son is by this time so hungry for lunch and our moods are not flash.

Afternoon

We try to encourage Explorason to do written work that afternoon in his diary, then – not to my surprise, he snaps. Tears and tempers and a LOT of anger.  I will never forget the anger and frustration this child felt.  He had every right to be here and to enjoy his time and he was pushed beyond his limits.

I decide Explorason and I will stay in and give the adults some time to themselves and we will miss whatever they are doing that afternoon. We were clearly on the outer of the group and it’s awfully uncomfortable. Restoration time is required for Explorason. By the time they come back, we have already played cards and felt better.

Shunned

I watched as they all sat at the dining room table of this Amazon jungle Eco-lodge and no-one speaks to us. Two times I tried to initiate conversation and was just fobbed. There were 3 others from Holland that were nice, but they were at the other end of the table.
As soon as dessert was over, I took my son to bed and I cuddle him to sleep.
I have never felt so lonely in all my life.
It was sad, as the rudeness and actions of some can really wreck it for others. I am glad they are the exception to our travels.

Oh well – at least we leave tomorrow.

Next Time

As we paid for this Amazon tour and they accepted children, we in hindsight should have spoken to our guide. He could have talked to the group and in particular to the couple that repeatedly sprouted off that they “hate kids” and kept them separate.  Prejudice of race, color, religion etc is not accepted and prejudice against children should not be accepted either.
This couple did a good job of allowing my son to remember the worst birthday present experience he ever had!

Comments

  • If you were placed in this situation what would you do?
  • How would you handle someone putting someone down be i, adult or child,d if you saw it?
  • Share your thoughts in the comments below, we’d love to know.

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