Oooh, the Amazon! You may feel as some of my friends do (or, indeed, you may not) that it's dangerous to be wandering around the jungle, swarmed by insects and wild animals. Ah, no; we'll be under the watchful eye of a certified naturalist and staying in a comfortable lodge. We were in the Peruvian Amazon in 2000, and the duplex cabins there were perfectly comfortable. Granted, we had to walk down a boardwalk to the (extremely clean) pit toilets, but there were regular toilet seats, so my daughter and I were perfectly happy. The Yarina lodge will assign us to private cabins with running water bathrooms. There will be no hardship.
I understand that the Yarina Lodge, like the previous one, keeps a baby Capybara for guests who miss their pussycats to pet. You can keep your cooking lessons in Italy and in France; we’ll have one here on local cuisine.
After four days, we transfer back through Quito to the exotic Galapagos. Even if my sausage toe is bothering me, how bad can life be aboard the pontoon ship cruising around the Galapagos Archipelago? We’ll be on the lookout for giant turtles and giant albatross. Sea lions may choose to swim with us.
We are ready. We’ve had our yellow fever inoculations and updated tetanus shots. We’ve packed our malarial pills, and Steve has his altitude meds. (I’m allergic to them, so I’m stuck with to drinking water and coca tea and using my inhaler.) We’ve got our walking shoes and our water shoes, our kindles and our camera, our sunscreen and our bug repellent. We’ve got our emergency antibiotics and pain killers. We’ve got walking sticks and moleskin and binoculars. Is there any room for clothes? Who knows? Who cares?
Tuesday morning bright and early, I’m off, off in search of the blue footed booby.