Monday, April 23, 2012

I am in Puerto Misahuallí, a town in the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle. The coolest thing about this town is that Capuchin monkeys roam free through the town, and they are super entertaining to watch--always playing with each other, jumping through trees, running across the ground, climbing up parked cars and trucks, sliding down the windshields, climbing poles and buildings. They love to shake things, including empty restaurant tables, and knock them over. They use tools, including rocks as anvils, and they are adept at learning from imitation. They learned to use a lighter, turn knobs to open doors, turn caps to open bottles, break jars open against the ground or dropping them off ledges, etc. I plan to visit a natural, cultural museum of the indigenous tomorrow, and visit a waterfall with a swimmable pool a the bottom tomorrow. In two days, we plan to depart by bicycle to Coca (Francisco de Orellana), where we will eventually catch our first boat in a series of boats on the Napo and Amazon leading us across the continent, to Iquitos, Peru; Leticia, Colombia; Manaus, Santarem, and Belem do Pará, Brasil, at the mouth of the Amazon river, where we will then take to the roads of the coast of Brasil by bicycle.

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