14 marzo 2007

Monos y Serpientes

So finally Monday morning we left the Marcum's house and headed east toward the Oriente: the Jungle. Our bus ride was an thrilling mix of tight curves and daring heights on muddy and narrow roads. There were threats of landslides every ten meters but that wasn't the scariest part of all. The most "exciting" part was when anthother bus or truck would come down the road toward us. The road wouldn't have passed width regulations for an American sidewalk yet somehow both drivers calmly passed each other (with mere centimeters between) with ease. After six hours of driving on these roads (did I mention that they were main highways?) we arrived at our destination: Orchid Paradise on the Island of Monkeys.
It was only on the edge of the jungle but still the difference between the Quito's terrain and the plants and flowers here were astounding. The air was more humid and there were sounds of scurrying animals and chattering birds everywhere. The man on duty when we arrived was Humberto and he took us to our room. And as we walked down the path to our cabin we quickly realized that we were the only guests on Monkey Island.The solitude could have been a little uncomfortable and disconcerting, but Humberto took it upon himself to make us feel incredibly welcome. We then understood the advantage of being the only guests: preferential treatment.Humberto introduced us to a friend of his named Lucho ("luchar" is "fight" in Spanish). Lucho seemed nice enough but Humberto warned us that his friend was known for stealing camaras and anything else he could easily get his hands on. As you can see in the next picture, my dad became close to Lucho--I think they had a lot in common...

While my dad was becoming friends with theiving monkeys my mom and I decided we wanted a little more danger. So we wrapped a boa constrictor around our necks.

We were on a walk in the jungle and saw this snake slithering on the ground and my mom just picked it up like it was a garden hose. And then like Eve offered it to me. So I took it. Ok, now I'm just telling stories. Sorry. So the truth is that Humberto had this snake in a cage and he showed us how to hold it. It was probably declawed (or whatever the snake version of that is) but it was still pretty risky...feeling.

And here they are standing on the edge of the Amazonian Jungle. They are my parents, not my brother and sister, like everyone in Ecuador thought. I think one time someone even asked me if they were my children. They do look young, but come on. But really, I'm proud to have such young-looking parents becuase I hope that I have inherited the same genes.
Here is Lucho again, getting possessive with my mother. He paid us another visit during dinner and he got in trouble for that. After all who wants a spider monkey jumping on your table while you are trying to eat an amazing $5 filet minon? We really did eat amazing food there on Monkey Island. It was a great day and a half and one night introduction to the jungle. The next day we woke up hearing the sounds of the jungle and got ready to trek deeper into the wild. Our next stop: Casa del Suizo along the Misahualli River.


Anonymous mom said...

thanks so much for the new post, Miranda! I've been holding my breath til the next one and I was almost out of air!! What a trip we had!! Thanks for a great adventure!!

10:36 p. m.  
Anonymous Louise Stevens said...

Love your blog, Miranda! Makes us Texans envious of your adventures! I'm so glad your folks were able to visit you and that you had such fun. When Hannah went "private" with her blog, I lost your blog address. Had to write our son, Brad and have him send it to us. We look forward to the next "installment"!
God Bless!
Lou & Laddie Stevens

8:02 p. m.  
Blogger Becky said...

So cool!! You guys really did some awesome stuff! I'm VERY impressed that you held a snake by the way... even if it was "declawed" :) Can't wait till hearing about the next adventure! Hope all is going well with you! Lots of love!

9:58 a. m.  
Blogger bradfordlstevens said...

I do see a resemblance to Lucho and your dad! Adam would have enjoyed the snakes for certain. Great post Miranda! Thanks for sharing with us.

12:06 a. m.  

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