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I keep promising myself to get back to the blog. I’m hoping that having text recognition software rather voice recognition software, will get me motivated to write more often, as it’s a lot easier to produce this way. There’s been a lot going on, but not a whole lot positive to report on so I haven’t written recently.
Our last trip out of Quito was a little over a week ago to a place called Kaoni Lodge. Kaoni Lodge is located about 2 1/2 hours northwest of Quito heading towards the province of Esmeraldas. It is located on the banks of the Caoni River, the nearest town being Puerto Quito. The lodge is about 5 km down a dirt road off the main highway. Situated among verdant cloud forests, all the facilities are built with native materials such as palm fronds and bamboo. I will start by saying the web page, at least in our experience, totally belies the quality of the lodge with the exception of the actual physical installations.
We had originally been provided with a schedule of activities, however the lodge was a little disorganized this time around. It wasn’t much of an inconvenience but the activity schedule had completely changed from the one we’d been provided. On the afternoon of our arrival, after having lunch and settling in, Sebastian and I went tubing on the river with a group of guests and the guide. The river was about the same temperature as the air which meant no matter how wet you got you didn’t get cold. On my second run down the river it began pouring rain which made for a spectacular sight. At one point the rain was falling so hard he couldn’t distinguish the river from the horizon. The guides were extremely friendly, and we were picked up in a pickup truck the 2 or so kilometers we had drifted down the river.
Unfortunately, the food at the lodge did not meet up to our expectations. Not only were we served chicken three days in a row, but a number of people, myself included, managed to contract some sort of stomach illness — some more severely than others. The manager had also offered us shrimp and fish, but we saw no shrimp and were served fish only once. The food could be said to be no more than average. The manager, however, knew things were not right, made only the more evident by her effusive apologies. She mentioned that their regular cook had not shown up. But this is no excuse for any sort of restaurant or hotel — as they say, you’re only as good as your last meal.