In just ten days, we'll be taking a trip to the jungle. There are many different types of trips to take -- staying at various lodges, or taking a boat cruise on the Napo River that feeds into the mighty Amazon River. It is the boat cruise that we have decided upon. The Manatee Amazon Explorer resembles a large three-story houseboat. It has fourteen private cabins with air conditioning and hot showers, a dining room, sundeck, and a lounge. This will be our base for our four days/three nights in the jungle. We'll be taking daytime and nighttime expeditions -- both on the river in a canoe and trekking on land. We will go to the Yasuni National Park and also the Parrots' Salt Lick.
Preparation is important, as with any new experience, to having a successful and safe adventure. The list of things to do, to buy, and to bring is extensive and should be taken seriously and followed. Among the things one must do is to have your yellow fever vaccination. (Once you have one, it is good for ten years.) You'll be given an official record that shows you have had your vaccination, and you cannot go to the jungle without displaying it to the appropriate authorities.
I had my yellow fever vaccination one week ago (as did my husband). Some people experience reactions to the vaccination -- my husband hasn't but I haven't been so lucky. Starting on the second day after my vaccination until now, I've had intermittent stomach pains ranging from mild to severe. I think the pains are easing off a bit and hopefully should be gone by the end of this week. I've been tired also. It will be good to feel good again. (In Cuenca, you need to go to the Public Health Department to get your yellow fever shot. It is called Jefatura de Salud and is located within the Military Hospital on Doce de Abril. The cost was $10 per person.)
Another health-related item is to go to your doctor to get anti-malaria pills. These are not mandatory but still a good idea. (These are taken one a day for ten days starting three days before your trip.) Also, you should bring with you insect repellent (containing DEET) to keep those pesky mosquitoes off of you.
There is much more information available at the Manatee website at www.manateeamazonexplorer.com.
Wish us good luck!!