Up the Amazon
Cotopaxi is the highest live volcano in the world when measured to the centre of the earth. We had the best view on our drive to Quito Airport for the short flight to Coca, where we stepped onto the Amazon in a 16 metre canopied canoe for the two hour ride down the Napo River to the Manatee.
Locals travel in anything from wooden dugouts with paddles to longer modern canoes with outboards provided by the government. Oil workers are transported as quickly as possible to and from the rigs and passed us in a blur.
Kapok trees as you can see in 986 and 995 stand head and shoulders above the other forest trees like watchful fathers, and are useful for providing building materials, twine for rope and medicine.
The riverside dwellings are typical of the many families who work small holdings all along the fertile shores producing sufficient crops and animal products for a varied diet themselves and some food to sell.
The weather for the most part was moody, with thunder rumbling around the river, upsetting the howler monkeys and plenty of rain, which really angered the monkeys.
Raoul was our guide, full with charm, passion and knowledge and a good sense of humour.