「好想去亞馬遜,不過很容易死」“I want to visit the Amazon, but I could die easily”

(English follows)

小時候極度沉迷 National Geographic 和各種未解之謎。充滿謎團的亞馬遜,自然是我夢想要去的地方。但我經常說:「好想去亞馬遜,不過好像很容易死」因為書中的探險隊總是因為觸碰不知名植物的葉子、或者踩到(遍地都是的)毒蛇,就輕易地全軍覆沒。

於是,這個想法一直屬於「遙遠夢想」的級別。

When I was little, I was obsessed with National Geographic and any unsolved mysteries of the world. Naturally, the mysterious Amazon Rainforest became my dream destination. But I often said, “I want to visit the Amazon so much, but I could die easily going there.” That’s because the expedition teams in the books were always annihilated easily, just because of touching the leaf of an unknown plant, or stumbling on a snake mistakenly (while there are snakes all over the ground).

So, this idea remained a “distant dream” for a long time.

直到2年前,我發現一個資助高中學生前往亞馬遜考察的計劃。如果入選考察隊,不但旅程免費,更有隊醫隨團。雖然危險,但我很清楚這是一生的夢想,而這次可能是用最低風險完成這個夢想的機會,還有什麼好猶豫的?最後,我被選入25名學生、6名大學導師等36人組成的考察隊。

真的沒想過,我的遙遠夢想竟然在16歲就要完成。

Until 2 years ago, I stumbled across a programme sponsoring secondary school students to visit the Amazon. If I was selected,  the trip would be free and a doctor would be going with our team. It was dangerous, but I know clearly that it’s a dream of a lifetime, and this could be a chance to complete it with minimum risk. So why should I hesitate? Finally I was selected into an expedition team with 36 members, including 25 students 6 tutors from universities.

I had never expected to complete this  “distant dream” at the age of 16.

行程簡介 Brief Itinerary

夢想不再遙遠,旅途卻仍然遙遠。亞馬遜熱帶雨林位於南美洲,是地球上離香港最遠的地方。它覆蓋多個國家,而我們將要前往的地區位於 厄瓜多爾(Ecuador)。厄瓜多爾面積不大,卻囊括著名的加拉帕戈斯(Galapagos)群島、安第斯山脈(Andes)和亞馬遜熱帶雨林,其生境的多樣性可想而知。我們即將前往的,更是全球物種多樣性最高的地區。

The dream was not distant anymore, but the destination was still distant. The Amazon Rainforest is located in South America – the place furthest away from HK on earth. It covers many countries, and the area we were going to visit is located in Ecuador. Ecuador is a small country with surprisingly diversified landscape. It covers the famous Galapagos Islands, the Andes and the Amazon Basin. Moreover, the area we were visiting has the highest biodiversity in the world.

Location of Ecuador

我們將會前往2個國家公園 – Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve Yasuni National Park,每個據點停留4-5天,觀察並記錄雨林中的環境和生物。兩個據點中間,會在內陸城市 Coca 停留一晚作補給。在首都 基多(Quito) 和雨林中都會與當地人、科學家、環保人士交流。

We were going to 2 National Parks – Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and Yasuni National Park, staying at each location for 4-5 days to observe and record the environment and species there. Between two places, we would stay in an inland city, Coca, for supplement. We would also meet locals, scientists and conservationists both in the capital city, Quito, and in the forest.

15 Days:香港(HK) → 基多(Quito) → Cuyabeno → Coca → Yasuni → 基多(Quito) → 香港(HK)

出發前的準備 Preparation before the trip

前往潮濕的熱帶雨林,最大的風險就是感染細菌或病毒。因此,出發前需要打4支防疫針,旅程中也要每日服用抗瘧疾藥物。出發前要簽署文件,表示明白此行的風險。文件上密密麻麻地列舉了可能感染的疾病名稱,用很小的字體也寫了半張A4紙!對疾病的恐懼本是我的死穴,所以有點被嚇到了。不過打了針,又有隊醫隨團,已經將風險降到最低了。

於是,我就冒著「生命危險」踏入旅程了!

The greatest danger of going into the humid rainforest is getting infected by bacteria or virus. Therefore, we had to take 4 vaccines before the trip, and take anti-malaria pills everyday during the trip. Before setting off, we had to sign a document indicating that we acknowledge the risks. Possible diseases that we could get were listed out, and they covered half an A4 paper! I was horrified because I have serious hypochondria. However, with vaccines and the accompany of a doctor, the risk had already been minimized.

So, that’s how I set off for the journey “risking my life”!

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