We pack up early and leave, hoping to gain back some lost time and distance on the river.
Beautiful sunrise at Nuevo Vencedores
We chill out, watch life on the river and sleep…only stopping for loo breaks!
Life on the Napo
- By early afternoon, Ben is hungry! A good sign! He literally begs for food. We stop on banks of river and the crew cook as rain begins. I’m personally feeling worse and Zoe is too but it’s lovely to have Ben feeling better!
Happy to have a much better boy!
Whilst the crew cook under a makeshift shelter, the wind picks up and it starts to drizzle. We doze on the boat until Martin suddenly yells ‘Move! We’re sinking the boat!’ – our weight is too much to one side and we’ve literally tipped the boat enough for water to pour in. I realise I’ve been sub-consciously listening to pouring water for some time!!!
Martin bails water frantically from the boat – the crew oblivious up on the beach – and the situation is soon under control!!!
Flood what flood?
Then the rain and wind picks up and as the crew pack up the boat takes a real battering and the roof starts to lift off in sections!!! We have serious visions of losing the boat altogether but the guys somehow pull the roof back together and tie it on!
The roof is tied down again, Vamos!
We wait for the wind to drop and then continue to the next village, called Rumi Tumi, not far along and stop for the night there. We clamber up to a house of a woman and her kids. Straight off to our beds as everyone’s feeling pretty rough and we have an early start. Getting across the mud and up the steps from the single concrete path and back to find somewhere to go to the loo is quite a feat! When I take Lara, the woman and her kids accompany us and she points out a good spot where there’s a channel beside the path we can use, then to my horror, they stand and watch the whole process with interest, especially when I burn our loo roll!
The house at Rumi Tumi
A few of these trips during the night for myself, thankfully without human spectators (just buffalo, dogs etc.) plus trying to carry either Zoe or Lara is quite a feat!
Next day, we’re up early and away by 6.25am…
Its too early to get up!
Early morning at Rumi Tumi. Guess who had a bad night?
Buffalo take an early morning wallow at Rumi Tumi
… the crew had fried some eggs before we left so we eat them in bread rolls for breakfast – it’s great to see Ben downing his food hungrily and happily! He’s definitely well on the mend!
Mmm! Delicious Breakfast. First in days!
We’re keen to cover more distance than yesterday, we only take essential loo stops, having to clamber across a sandy bank and squat behind a fallen tree! We girls need a lot of stops! Ben just wants more food!
Back from another loo stop!
More food please?
At one such stop the pure sounds of the jungle are broken by what sounds like a helicopter!! And then a helicopter indeed appears over the trees – a rope and hook hanging from it! Around the next bend we see an oil exploration base, with rows of neat orange tents and complete with helipad!
The oil exploration base
We make good progress today and don’t stop till we reach the small town of Ango Teras, the only town between Santa Clotilde and Pantoje on the border. It’s a very small town, but does have electricity from 6 – 9.30pm
each night and we realise the house we’re staying in doubles as the village shop with a small room in the corner, and counter but they don’t seem to have any provisions for sale!
The house come shop at Ango Terra
They also have a single paved street and a busy school at the end with kids running around who appear to be boarders. And most houses have a loo in a tiny hut across the street and down a few steep hazardous muddy steps where me and the girls have to make frequent visits. Zoe says ”it’s not too bad Mum – better than a field but I don’t think this is a town! It’s no bigger than some of the villages we’ve been to!”
The house and street at Ango Terra
The crew cook in the family room at the back and Ben watches, eager for supper! Ollin points out the red gleaming eyes of a caiman lurking outside in the shallow pond at the back – this makes me more nervous about going out for loo breaks in the night!
Is dinner ready?
The family have a small TV and gather around watching a football match – it’s an old replay between Ecuador and Peru!
Gerson tells me he’s worried. The people are drinking and maybe don’t behave well when drunk – he moves his tent right next to ours – soon lights go out, the loud music from up the street goes off and the sound of the jungle can be heard again – the family of 5 all lay down on blankets beside us too, under their family mossie net – the floor is built from creaky, flimsy bamboo and has several holes – it seems as though Martin or I could crash through it if we walked in the wrong place! Martin has already crashed and broken a couple of steps on various jungle buildings! The creaky floor and snoring plus all kinds of other grunting and human bodily noises keep me awake most of the night!!!
I get up with Zoe about 11 and accidentally leave the door open. Its the first door we’ve had for a while! Some time later I hear the stomping and sniffing around of presumably a dog (surely not the caiman?!!), the mumbled discussion of the family and someone getting up to close the door – ooops!!