Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cuyabeno Lodge

After over 2 hours in a canoe with an outboard motor we arrived at Cuyabeno lodge situated on a shallow (very shallow as it turned out) lake.

When we arrived there was no sight of the lodge just a muddy foreshore, apparently we were going in the back entrance as the lake was low and the closer access at the front was inaccessible.  As the week drew on, each day we had to access the boats further and further away.  First things first, we were taken to the eating area where we were served lunch immediately as it was already past my
normal lunch time.

Our meal started as most meals do in Ecuador with soup (sopa) the eubiquitos soup, locra de papa is basically a potato soup with fresh cheese and avacado in it. Since leek and potato soup is one of my favourite comfort foods I was happy to have this soup often.

The main course consisted of pork, beans plantain and potato fritters.  The food was good, fairly plain, and not too rich, which as the temperature was about 30 and humid was good thing.

I peeked in to their kitchen, and I am amazed they produced 3 meals a day for over 30 people with the equipment that they had. Also for breakfast each day they produced very small loaves of bread which appeared to freshly baked.  As there was no oven I guess they baked them in some kind of dutch oven on the gas rings.

I have to say I like just sitting down and having someone bring me my food with no decision or effort on my part.  I am not fussy and will eat almost anything put in front of me, but they catered to those with specific dietary needs such as vegetarians and non pork eaters.

After lunch we were given our cabin assignments.  We received a cabin very close to the dining room.

This turned out to be a good thing, as sometimes when it got really hot I would pop up to the cabin and take a 15 second cold shower to cool off and then pop back to the deck where I might be enjoying a cold beer or reading in the hammock.

The cabins have no windows just raffia blinds for privacy and mosquito nets over the beds.

Surprisingly there were no mosquitos to talk about or any bugs really, I was relieved and delighted to find, I could wear skirts or shorts around the lodge and not get bitten at all.  You might of course share your shower with a frog, but the mosquito nets did thankfully keep those out of the bed!

I spent much of my free time lying in one of the hammocks reading or chatting with my fellow travellers.

The hammocks were situated between the dining room and the deck and within easy reach of the bar where a cold beer could be had.  This was the only drink available unless you brought your own.  The beer was called pilsner and came in 1 litre bottles for $3.00 each.  It was best to share them as they were large and would be warm before I finished it, anyway there was always someone willing to share a beer.

While we were staying at the lodge it was Connie's birthday and they baked a cake and made a rather inventive jack o latern out of I think a large papaya.

The staff were friendly and the food was good and the cabins were clean and basic. We were in the middle of the jungle and the power was solar generated so it was not an unlimited commodity and therefore there were no plugs in the cabin and I was without my hair dryer for a week!  This really lost importance after a while as it was either extremely hot or raining and we all started to let many standards of grooming slip drastically.

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