Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, 2. – Nuevo Rocafuerte

So after about 12 hours on the boat (a truly bum-numbing ride!),  stopping only a few times to let people get off at certain spots, we finally get to Nueva Rocafuerte, which is the last small town along the Rio Napo before the Peruvian border. We climb up the stairs, carrying our staff and find the one and only hotel in town. A young guy, not more than 14 or 16 takes us upstairs to one of the very basic room. Mosquito nets are nowhere to be seen, and I have to ask for them a few times, but finally they provide us with one. The bathroom is also very simple: to wash yourself you need to pour some water over you body from a big bucket with a small bowl. We have electricity only for a limited amount of time, so we charge all the batteries for the cameras that we can. To pass the time, we walk back to the dock to watch the locals. The kids are happily jumping into the river while the adults seem to have only one mission: to get rid of their trash. First, we see only a few beer bottles flying into the river – not too far from where the kids are playing. Then a whole crate of bottles. They bottles loudly crash on a rock or something. Then goes an iron bed frame. What the…? (Advice: try not to swim at the dock!)

There are only a few shops around with some basic supplies. I crave some fruits, but only find apples and bananas and something else, which I do not recognize. The young guy from the hostel is eager to practice his English so he volunteers to show us around.  There is not much to show, though..We end up at the school field, where the some of the locals are playing basketball and volleyball, while some others are cheering on. One lady is walking around with a wooly monkey on a leash.

For dinner we are invited over to our guide, Sandro’s house where his mom makes us a delicious turtle-cayman-rice dinner. I opt for the rice. The fresh mango juice is fantastic, as always. It is raining hard as we walk (run) back to the hostel.

After getting adequately cleaned up I set up the mosquito bed above my bed and read for a few minutes. The room next to us is occupied by the young guys who work and live here, and they are extremely loud as they chat about girls, parties, and everything else that teenage boys can boast about. Around eleven I get fed up, jump out my bed and knock on their door. “Chicos”, I say “basta!” (My Spanish vocabulary is pretty limited). Fortunately my tone of voice is more than enough to put an end to the chatter and we all go to sleep.

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