出航!Cuyabeno (Set sail for Cuyabeno!)

要到達雨林深處一點都不容易。首先坐了2程共24小時的飛機,跨越大半個地球來到基多。之後乘內陸航班到達Coca、再坐4小時旅遊巴才到達Cuyabeno

It’s not easy to penetrate deep into the forest. It took us 2 flights, 24hr in total, to get to Quito from the other end of the earth. Then an inland flight to Coca, and 4hr shuttle bus to the area of Cuyabeno.

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不過,我們居住的Caiman Lodge還在更深處,要乘2小時的獨木舟進入。沒錯,是乘獨木舟亞馬遜河航行

However,  we still haven’t arrived at Caiman Lodge – the place we were going to stay at.  We have to take another 2hr ride on canoe to get deeper inside. Yes, NAVIGATING the AMAZON RIVER  by CANOE!

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河流是觀察動物的最佳位置。上船不久,導遊已經看到岸邊的一條森蚺(世界上最重的蛇),大家在不到2米的距離外興奮地拍照。(能吞下一頭鹿的巨獸原來也很Approachable) 

River is the best place for observing animals. Soon, the tour guide spotted a huge anaconda (the world’s heaviest snake) at the river bank. We took photos excitedly from just less than 2m away. The beast that can swallow a deer appeared to be quite approachable.

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之後導遊突然大叫:「Look! Baaats!」還未聽慣南美口音的我們百思不得其解:「Butts? 什麼Butts?」向指的方向望去,看到一根枯木插在水中。直到船靠得很近,整群蝙蝠突然飛了起來,我們才恍然大悟。雨林動物的保護色果然高超!(圖:後來第34次遇到的時候才成功拍攝)

Suddenly, the guide shouted, “Look! Baaats!” As we hadn’t got used to the South American accent, we were totally confused, “Butts? What butts?” We tried searching the direction pointed by him, but were only able to find a dead tree in the water. We didn’t notice what was happening, until a whole flock of “bats” fled from the dead tree while our canoe was approaching.  Excellent mimicry! (Photo: we were finally able to give a shot on our 3rd or 4th encounter)

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雨林為什麼叫「雨」林  | Why are rainforests called “rain”forests

出發前做好了防水準備,和捨身保護電子器材的心理準備。可惜實際情況往往和想象中不同 突然落下傾盆大雨,船上空間很小,手忙腳亂之下就把背包放在腳邊,再脫下雨衣覆蓋背包。我以為已經蓋得很嚴密,但雨水不知不覺間已浸滿船底,覆蓋了背包也完全沒有用!

We were all prepared to protect our electronic devices from rainwater – even by “sacrificing” ourselves. However, reality is always different from expectations. Suddenly, it rained heavily. The seats on the canoe were small. Being in a hurry, I put my bag on the canoe’s bottom and covered it with my own raincoat. I thought it was well protected. However, before I noticed, the bottom of the canoe had been flooded by rainwater. There is no use covering the bag from above at all!

發現的時候已經太遲。沒想到還沒到達據點,就損失了我的傻瓜機……(幸好只是殘舊的傻瓜機,而不是單反)

It was too late. I had never expected to lose a camera before even arriving at the first station…..(Luckily, it was a very old digital camera but not my dear DSLR)

終於抵達Caiman Lodge的時候,眾人顯然已經成了落湯雞(之後基本每天都是這樣)

When we finally arrived at Caiman Lodge, clearly we were all wet. (And we were all wet basically everyday onwards)

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