First, we took an airplane to Coca, the town right outside of The Yasuni National Park. It was definitely weird being back at the airport, and even weirder to think that I´d be back here in only a little over a month. Next we took a taxi to a boat station.
This is probably where we saw the most animals. The station housed three monkeys, one of which looked like it actually might be the devil. Within three minutes of arriving at the station, two monkeys jumped on Morgan´s back and one started humping the other. They were both male, and the one of the bottom didn´t appreciate the love, so they ended up fighting and falling off of Morgan.
Then we watched this clumbsy monkey catch, drop, throw, and attempt to eat this giant moth. Eventually he gave up, watched the moth die for awhile, and went to find other food.
The station also had these super cute parrots that tried to bite you.
Once we got on the boat, we road down the Amazon River for about an hour, got off, and took an hour van ride to the Estacion Yasuni de La Universidad Catolica. We settled in and took our first walk through the rainforest. Everything is green, obviously, but we learned that the Amazonian soil is actually not fertile at all. The indigenous people can´t grow a lot of food and they have to change locations every few years. Only because of the insects can the Amazon survive.
We went on at least one hike every day, the third day was the longest hike topping out at 5 hours, 1.5 of which was walking about outside the rainforest in the direct sunlight. The heat was bearable, but the humidity was horrible. I´m from Arizona so I have no gauge for humidity. My favorite walk was the night walk. Everything was so calm, it was a little cooler outside, and the moon was full so we didnt really need flashlights.
One of the funniest/scariest things I witnessed was the Tapir. The Tapir is described on Wikipedia as “a large browsing mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout. Their closest relatives are the other odd-toed ungulates, including horses and rhinoceroses and they are classified as endangered or vulnerable.” The Estacion Yasuni is visited every morning by a big fat female Tapir. She had a baby a year ago and is pregnant again, making her very aggresive. If you dn´t have a banana for her, like two of the people in my group, you get chased around and possibly bitten in the butt. We almost had one mishap, but both managed to run away. I do, however, have a video of the Tapir chasing this poor girl who is trying to hide behind a tree. I would have helped her but someone was already coaching the girl to stand still and not run. Plus, I was on the second floor. Basically, as long as you don´t run, you won´t excite the Tapir, and it won´t chase you.
Also cool: We found Cocoa Fruit while walking the second day. The part that is used to make chocolate are the seeds while are huge and white. They are then roasted (which gives them their chocolate color) and mixed with sugar and such. To eat the fruit, you suck on the seeds, which taste pretty much just like chocolate.