We hadn’t been to the jungle since our children were small, so we decided to make a trip to Misahuallí to see some monkeys and take a canoe trip on the Napo River before the new school year began. Traveling more than 20 hours by car, we saw some breathtaking sights as we traveled down out of the Andes Mountains and entered the jungles of Ecuador. Returning through Shell, Mera and Baños, we saw some awesome waterfalls and then enjoyed the return to the highlands, passing through the mist and clouds. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, with snowcapped mountains, rugged beaches, cloud forests and jungles. Making brief stops in eight towns along the way, it was a trip down memory lane for Jeff and me that went back more than 22 years.
During our canoe trip on the Napo River we visited three communities. In the first community we saw how the natives of that area lived and trapped their food. The next stop was a rescue center for jungle animals trying to return to the wild. At our final stop, we got to see the colorful handmade pottery the area is known for and watch a demonstration by one of the ladies of how it is made. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes we experienced on this trip made us fall in love with Ecuador all over again. What a way to start the school year!