The Jungle Diaries

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Hola Amigos!

I am in the middle of Bolivia volunteering at an animal sanctuary. It´s going well, the toughest part is making friends with the humans! Haha.

Facilities

It´s just like Summer Camp. Think basic facilities (eg. compost toilets) all covered in mud and insects.Thankfully I can handle it.

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I have a top bunk. The matress is made of straw! I have a hole ridden mosquito net. Some nights it lets mosquitos in (ouch!) others it doesn´t. I share with two other people. We all like sleeping so it is a quite hut.

Food

It´s fab! When left to my own devices I only eat bread and cheese, crisps and ice cream. My healthiest meals are on organised trips. They always provide lots of vegetables and fruit. He we have 3 meals a day. Except for breakfast, they are diverse meals of vegetables and beans. Breakfast is just bread, so most people buy their own cereal or spreads.

Animals

When I first arrived I was met by a nasua. My mouth dropped open. I would have hugged it but apparently it had been swimming in the loos! Next I saw wild pigs and lots of birds – Tucans, Mecaws (blue and red) and Emus. There are other animals (Pumas, Jaguars, Taipers, Ocelots etc) on site but you can only see them if you work with them.

My animals

I work with 4 baby Howler Monkeys in the morning and a Geoffry´s Cat in the afternoon. The Howler Monkeys are amazing. I just can´t beieve I get to be so close to them. One of them likes hugging so you can study her features, like her ears and feet up close. It´s also amazing just watching the monkeys in the tree.

catThe Geoffry´s Cat is adorable too. He likes walking and climbing trees. For his size (think domestic cat) he eats a lot of meat! There are also lots of other animals I see such as gorgeous butterflies, bugs, lizards, frogs and other small mammels.

Uniform

We all look like second hand safari rangers; wearing hand-me-downs from past volunteers. It´s bloody hot here but you have to be covered head-to-toe in thick layers because of mosquitos. Literally head-to-toe. I am about to purchase a mosquito net hat as I have to keep hitting my face otherwise!

Warning

Never touch a red ant tree. Their bites hurt more than mosquito bites.

Health

So far I have accumulated the following injuries:

1 Howler Moneky bite
Countless mosquito bites
1 Red Ant bite
1 scrath from falling over

Weather

The weather is hot and humid most of the time. However, the rainy season is starting and sometimes we get afternoons of rain. I am not looking forward to the rainy season as the land floods. I already have to go through almost knee deep water along parts of the path to the Geoffry´s Cat. Apparently, it can go waist deep! Not fun without wadders.

Note : The mosquitos even visit the internet cafe! I´m currently sitting with my feet inside my backpack so they don´t get bitten any more.

How to survive any hike

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Recently I hiked over 5,000 metres to the snow line of Nevado del Tolima in Colombia. Before that I spent 5 days trekking to and from Colombia’s Lost City. And before that I completed my longest trek to date – a 6 day hike up and down Mount Roraima in Venezuela.

This recent bout of hiking brought back memories from when I used to hike as a teenager. 10 years ago I used to regularly go hiking with Girl Guiding UK. I hiked at different difficulty levels and in different countries including; England, Switzerland, USA, Australia and Thailand.

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Border crossing: Ipiales to Tulcan

Bridge from Colombia to Ecuador

Bridge from Colombia to Ecuador

On Friday 10th October 2014 I left Colombia and entered Ecuador. In this blog post I describe the journey from Ipiales to Quito, including stops at Las Lajas and Tulcan.

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Top 10 free things to do in Bogota, Colombia

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In September 2014 I spent two weeks in Bogota, the capital of Colombia. Below is a list of my favourite things to do in Bogota. Halfway through writing the list I realised all the activities were free. #Bonus Enjoy!

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Volunteering at the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014

Solving problems in Problem Resolution!

Solving problems in Problem Resolution!

In this post I discuss how I became a volunteer for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil (the event that  started my trip around South America), and share tips on how you can volunteer at large scale sporting events too.

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Why do Crocs travel and muffin tops rise?

Muffin Top :D #Yummy

Muffin top

There’s two phenomena currently sweeping South America that nobody is talking about – Crocs and muffin tops.

Forget FARC sightings in Colombia, airlines shutting down in Venezuela, and Rio 2016 volunteer applications opening in Brazil, those topics are occupying enough space. The 2014 Crocs and Muffin Tops Pandemic (CMTP14) is spreading widely and nobody is paying attention! Except me.

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Border crossing: Manaus to Boa Vista to Santa Elena de Uairen; And Roraima and Angel Falls tours

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On Thursday 10th July 2014 I travelled from Manaus in Brazil to Santa Elena de Uairen in Venezuela. The journey took approximately 17.5 hours. This post discusses that journey and shares advice on Roraima and Angel Falls tours.

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