After returning to Iyarina on Saturday night, we needed some time to recover from our long days of travel up and down the river. We spent our Sunday working on our final presentations in our groups! John, Riya, George, Olivia, and I chose to focus on cacao for our presentation. We created Wao Ice Cream, an ice cream brand that ethically sources its cacao from the Waorani nation! The next morning, we went on a river hike near Iyarina, and got a chance to climb beautiful waterfalls and swim through the refreshing river! The water was amazing, I couldn’t believe how clear it was! I especially loved seeing the canopy of trees surrounding us during the hike, and the river swims were so refreshing. To end our hike, we all jumped off the top of a waterfall!
We headed back to lodge, ready for our next adventure. We took a boat ride over to Misahualli, a port town FULL of monkeys! We got to explore the island, and we all had a blast seeing the monkeys terrorize the town (literally).
On our boat ride back, the drivers asked if we would want to pull over onto one of the beaches to see a snake. Of course we said yes, but little did we know the snake had been on the boat with us the entire time! The driver pulled a boa constrictor out of the large bag that had been on the back of the boat. We all got to take pictures with it, and we watched as it cooled off in the river!
I couldn’t believe that our time at the Iyarina lodge was coming to an end, but I was starting to feel ready for our next adventure. We don’t seem to stay in any place for too long while in Ecuador! Before we left for Puerto Lopez, we gave our presentations. Wao Ice Cream seemed to be a hit, but I might be a little biased…
We stopped on our way to the airport to stretch our legs, and we ended up at a beautiful park that protects endangered polylepis trees. These unique trees have a soft bark that feels like tissue paper! We arrived at the airport and I got a taste of the United States by getting Johnny Rockets for dinner. Our flight to Manta was super short, and after one last bus ride we finally arrived at the beach!