Gah, this post didn’t get scheduled with the others. It will forever haunt me that this is out of order, but it will make me even more haunted to know that it is sitting in my already-full draft folder for eternity. So here it is, for your reading pleasure.
Palabra del día: mojado
We must get up at 5:00am again so that we can eat breakfast and meet our guide at the canoe dock by 6am. We say our goodbyes to our native guide and begin the walk back to the Rio Napo. Unlike the other groups walking nearby, we have no guide on the walk back (our guide was already with the couple and older gentleman), so we are free to walk as fast or slow as we want.
We take our time, noting to our amusement that one of the groups has an agouti following them to the boat. A variegated flycatcher near a troupe of squirrel monkeys bids us farewell. The trip back to Coca lasts about 2.5 hours, and we see more bird life on the way back than we had on the way up. Several egrets, and even a small flock of oriole blackbirds, hang around the reeds, rushes, and driftwood that gather around the edges of the Napo.
Once we arrive in Coca, we wait for about an hour at the tour office before heading to the airport in a schoolbus. We wait at the airport for about 90 minutes before we finally set foot on the plane that will take us to Quito. As of this point, we have ridden on every commercial airline in Ecuador during our trip. A taxi takes us back to our hostel, where we start our water-logged laundry before wandering back to Old Town Quito. We stop for lunch at a small cafe just outside the government plaza, where the waiter keeps bringing us food we haven’t ordered in an attempt to get us to eat more than our simple soup and coffee.
It’s not that I don’t really, really like to eat at restaurants. To give you some idea of how much I love food, the Other Half and I were watching an episode of the Newlywed Game shortly after we started dating. One of the questions was ‘Hell hath no fury like my spouse when (s)he doesn’t get her…’
The Other Half immediately blurted out ‘FOOD!’ I have not lived this down even five years later.
Anyway, Ecuador seems to have a fascination with cocoa and cheese that rivals my own. After trying the cafe’s chocolate con queso, I can’t get enough of the drink, a hot cocoa with fresh farm cheese melted into it. Of the things we brought home from our trip, this idea, a box of cinnamon apple tea, and a bag of Galapagos coffee have given us the most joy.
It is threatening to rain on us again, so after lunch, we retire to the hostel to play chess and watch an Ecuadorian football match with some of the locals. All in all, it was a worthwhile rest-day on our trip.