Time In Tena

Written By Meredith & Tyler

On Sunday we left Banos and travelled to the city of Tena in the Amazon. We arrived late in the afternoon and got settled into our beautiful new hostel, previously picked out by Ava and Joey.

The next day we met up with Stephanie from Amazon Learning and she taught us all about the Amazon and what they do as a company. Following her presentation, we were supposed to meet up Don Clemente for a tour of his chakra (small sustainable farm), and for a complete farm to table feast including various Amazonian plants and insects. Sadly, protests blocked the roads in and out of the city prevented us from doing so.

On Wednesday morning, we all hastily packed our bags and made an attempt to try to get out Tena. We shortly found out this would not be possible. We saw the protesters blocking the road. Since we could not leave Tena, we spent the rest of the week in our hostel. We found numerous ways to occupy our time: taking naps in hammocks, exploring the city during the mornings, mildly injuring our fingers playing competitive card games, trying to read books completely in German, dancing and playing with the little girl who lives at the hostel, taking shifts being chefs and preparing masterpieces for dinner in the hostel kitchen, holding tarantulas, eating grilled bananas and conversing with the other stranded travelers, and even venturing out into the 400 meter jungle walk directly next to the hostel.

A big part of this week was spent watching and waiting to see what our next move would be. Luckily, our hostel overlooked the city, and we could see whether the bridge to the city was opened or closed, and which parts of the city were active with protesters. It was difficult not having complete access to the news, but this in turn forced us to talk to the other travelers about their experiences and opinions on the current events. From what we are hearing, there is a lot of uncertainty about what is to come. The protests could continue on for months, and this could raise problems for business owners and everyone in the country.

We have heard that there is a chance that the roads will be opened soon. So we have been told to pack our bags and be ready to get on a bus to get closer to the airport.

In times like these, we have to listen to the advice of our dear friend former Vice President Dan Quayle. “The future will be better tomorrow” :/P

* Since writing this blog, there has been a peaceful resolution! Roads have re-opened, protests ended, and the group has been able to move forward with their itinerary as planned.

Passport check!! Every savvy traveler does a TYV (touch your valuables) at various times.
Saffron and Daniel play an enormous game of chess at our hostel.
Meredith’s first impression of trying Inca Cola (Peru’s national drink)…she said it tasted like bubble gum.
A meal of French fries and hotdogs were enjoyed by all. The meal may have reeked havoc on stomachs over the next few days but in the moment, it was delicious.
Mira and Grace whip up some pancakes (breakfast for dinner) one night at the hostal. Everyone took turns cooking up meals throughout the week to feed the group. Lots of laughs and some very successful meals were put out.