Tena, Ecuador

22nd July 2019

I’m in the Amazon rainforest. What a dream.

Yesterday, we trekked on a fairly well-trodden path through the jungle. We followed a stream to a cave, ducked under the rock and waded through the water in our wellies, shining torches at the hand-sized spiders that clung to the walls and disturbing bats from their sleep. At the end of the cave was a small waterfall. We climbed up the rocks, placed our hands on the cold algae and felt the water run over our knuckles, pushing with our calves to get us back into the expansive, buzzing rainforest.

By the afternoon, we had arrived to the second largest cave in Ecuador. We potholed past stalactites and swam across the river to reach ledges on the other side. We squeezed through skinny gaps, pointed out critters and sat in a dead end with our torches off in dark and not a spot of light to be seen.

It’s all so intensely brilliant and overwhelming. The experiences I’m having. The nature. The adventures. The conversations. The learning. The growing.

That was just yesterday. Today, we each donned a life jacket and flopped onto a rubber dinghy and began the most peaceful journey down the Amazon river.

Imagine this: clear blue skies; the tall, bright green jungle on either side; the slow pace of the sliding water; your feet dangling in and warm; your friends near you ‘wowing’ and laughing; monkeys swinging from canopies to your right and parrots flying over head.

It’s been the best day of my trip so far. I felt complete joy in every moment — the smile playing on my lips until sundown — as I just laid back and enjoyed the views.

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