Retirement and volunteering in the Ecuadorean AmazonNo Internet, electricity and basically no communication whatsoever with the outside world. Food supplies came once or twice a week and was dropped off on the road, a six kilometer hike from the house. We reported in once a week via cellphone, which was a further two kilometers from the road to the highest point, where reception was possible. Days were long and nights were even longer. Every two weeks we would hike back to the main camp to give in our report on the progress of our five woolly friends.

Every so often I tend to do something really stupid

This proved to be true when crossing the river one rainy day. On our way for a weekend off after a night of heavy rain and the river roaring down, rain coming down in buckets, I got on the seat ready to pull myself across the swollen river. Having done this countless times over the past few weeks I was a little too complacent in securing myself properly and before I knew what was happening, found myself slipping and plunging pretty much head first into the river. Down I went and in a flash I hit the water!

Retirement and volunteering in the Ecuadorean AmazonHad it not been for the fact that I had somehow managed luckily to get tangled with the pulling rope, I probably would have gone for a lengthy ride down the river. However on resurfacing and finding the strength to haul myself back onto the bank huffing and puffing, suffering more from embarrassment than any immediate danger. Completely soaked I climbed back into the seat, secured myself properly and made it to the other side without further incident.

Retirement and volunteering in the Ecuadorean AmazonAfter a long wet and soggy hike to the road, we managed to hitch a ride on the back of a truck with the rain still pouring down and looking like a couple of drowned rats, we finally made it to Tena. We booked in and had the luxury of a hot shower and a hot meal before retiring to a clean bed for the night. During a couple of nights in Tena, which could best be described as an old ‘frontier town’, we looked back on the past few days experiences with much amusement. After a good few days, feeling refreshed with clean laundry we got up to date with all the news and correspondence from home, and then it was time to return to Amazoonico to complete our assignment.

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