Today was our first R&R (rest day) – so we had the chance to chill and basically do what we wanted for the day.
So, the obvious thing to do was catch a boat across a wild river, into a dense and hidden waterfall that seemed untouched by humans and like a scene from Indiana Jones.
I know, contain yourselves, you’re in for a treat.
We headed to the riverbank and for a solid five minutes we were on the river (which was very choppy) and were sprinkled with water as the boat suddenly jolted from a sudden undercurrent. We were all laughing and SO excited to witness a waterfall first hand, PLUS, we were actually allowed to swim underneath. Sod health and safety. TIE.
It was in such a secluded area, the entrance was tiny, and you would only notice it if it was pointed out. We had to heave the boat forwards through the vines that fell down from the trees above because of the strong current, but once we were in the safe zone it was the most tranquil setting I’ve ever seen.
We all basically jumped in straight away and headed towards the powerful stream of water that was forcefully attacking the water below. Some were more precocious than others, but eventually I just went for it, holding the gopro with pride (thanks Gemma – great call)
I legit thought I was going to die.
The force of water was falling so quickly on my head that I couldn’t swim towards the surface, so I had no choice but to swim to what I thought were the rocks on the other side of the waterfall, luckily my predictions were right.
Ellie and Nicole were quick enough to grab me by the shoulders, pull me into safety, and we all squealed and laughed so much, trying to regain our balance on the slippery slopes and trying to breathe in the areas where the water didn’t fill our mouths within milliseconds.
After this we headed back to Camp, Will, Ellie and I shopped at the local stores to fulfil our sweet fix, and we mainly chilled in the hammocks, drank lush Ecuadorian coffee and embraced today’s topic of tattoo’s (I now felt close enough to ask people about their tattoos, Lucy had one in remembrance of her cat, Omar had a paw and Iain had some tribal ones that were pretty cool tbf.)
Tonight was as cute as the morning we’d had, because tonight we had a bonfire, roasted marshmallows, had a sing-song with drums, and danced all night long.
Well, we danced for maybe twenty minutes because it was getting late for the kids. Plus, me and Iain had a press up challenge ahead of us.
Three things I should note – Iain is hench, I’m not, and I’m very, very, very competitive. Need I say anymore about the competition?
After being out of sync for only a day, I struggled to wake up to my sweet, sweet alarm at 6am.
To make matters worse, I had to wait a while for my caffeine fix, and when the water was finally boiled someone (that someone being one of the trainee’s that were training to be Camp Leaders) took it from my sight. Nicole and me were close to crying.
Applied damp socks on, followed by damp boots, followed by the realisation that I’d burnt half my face, which Iain loved and compared me to the bad guy on Batman that has half his face singed. He’s a lovely lad.
Over in Cacha, while digging nails out of the re usable wood, me, Cami, Lucy, Sarah and Charlotte discussed travelling. It was so cool because all of us had come from different places, had landed on this incredible trip, and who knew where we’d go from here!
Precious came to see us as per, we fed her and gave her as much attention as we could, knowing that our days with her were numbered :’( Lunch was calling, so we headed back to camp, and I know the next event will strike some of you as immature, while others it will be of no surprise.
I lost at an odds-on, meaning I had to devour an entire dolche de leche (basically sickly caramel sauce) tub. I have a sweet tooth, but this was on another level. I felt so, so ill. Curse Will and Ellie and their odds-on skills!!!
After playing a round of werewolf (the card game I mentioned) some of us had a game of UNO. I know, it’s only a card game. But, alas, I take any form of competition as serious, and so did Sarah.
Without going into detail, there was a lot of shouting from Maddi and Sarah’s corner, crying from Charlotte and myself’s corner, and evil laughter from Iain’s corner. I went to bed very sad that night. I am a sour loser.
Today, again based in Cacha, I got to use a machete, to slice old pieces of bamboo from fresh shoots to start creating the shelter for the school, and boy did I feel powerful.
By cutting the old pieces of bamboo shoots, we were using the strongest bits, which would be then sawed and nailed into the wooden planks that had been put into the holes. The shelter was slowly shaping, and we all wanted to work hard enough to see the end result.
Over lunch, we were discussing our wacky dreams. One of the side effects of malarone (the malaria pills I was taking) were disturbing dreams, but mine were just crazy, most morning me and Nicole would discuss them, but today we had a communal comparing of dreams, which was hilarious. It was nice to know I wasn’t the only one waking up in the morning wondering if I slightly insane.
That afternoon we were in the school nearest to Camp, and me and Omar had the job of plastering the walls we’d made the day before. Apparently before plastering walls you need to wet the surface, (to which I wet the maestro and Omar more than the wall itself) and then apply the plastering mix. There was a certain technique to this, because you had to be quick and neat, otherwise it would set and become clumpy.
Omar did most of this I’m not gonna lie. So for the afternoon I was in charge of the musical playlist…
The most exciting thing that happened today was probably Iain electrocuting himself. Somehow he still had the energy to spite my music taste even though he’d just managed to shock himself.
As night approached we talked about how incredible it felt to be a part of the community, not only had we built their first swing, but we were building the foundations that were evident in the process of helping this special village.
After saying good night to Spook (another little doggo) we trundled off to bed, realising we only had a few days left in this special little camp.
I guess you could call me a wimp, but after no sleep and a serious case of de-hydration I stayed at Camp all day.
The most interesting thing was that a chicken kept me company all day.
Oh, and ya know, just chilling in a hammock reading Pride and Prejudice as you do, while your mates are out making shelters with locals in South America.
See, even sick days have their perks out there.
Oh, last but not least. If ever you’re offered a re-hydration sachet, don’t, I repeat don’t drink it. Trust me, that’s coming from someone who was dehydrated and was drinking any form of liquid given to me.
Mama told you to drink four pints a day for a reason.