The Amazon rainforest near Puyo and the colonial city of Cuenca

Hi friends! I’m in Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city.

From Banos, I went to Puyo, where begins the Amazon, which I visited with a guide. After, I moved into a hut of a family of Kichwa indigenous, inside their village. It was a small village of fewer than 100 people with many children wandering and playing.
The landlord was around in the forest searching for food, and his daughter, a little girl named Brigitte, accompanied me to the village to see the meeting room where they take decisions, the school, and various animals that live there: an alligator, a parrot, a nocturnal monkey, and a giant rat, a little crazy maybe because in a cage.

Before dark, the landlord returned with an armadillo caught by his dog, that had dug inside the hole where it was sleeping. The family cooked it. I’m vegetarian, so I ate rice, palmito (white filaments, fresh and soft, taken from the trunk of the palm), and yucca, a vegetable similar to potatoes.
In the evening, when it was already dark, I went to sleep upstairs in the hut. As always, it’s really nice to sleep in the forest for the concert of sounds from nocturnal animals that start with the setting sun. Sounds that resonate thanks to the total silence all around. There was a giant full moon. I fell asleep soon, and I woke up in the middle of a roaring tempest. The hut was wholly enveloped by a cloud.

The next morning, at 7, the landlord woke me up for another tour in the forest. He told me to get ready and go down. He said that he was busy, but I would have done the tour with his eldest son. But the bed called me back, and I fell asleep again. Then arrived Brigitte. She told me to get up to do the tour with her and two other siblings because no one knew where his big brother was at the moment. But I fell asleep again.
I woke up with kids all around, I was still half asleep, and the scene seemed surreal, with all these children repeating: “Giovanni, wake up!”, “Giovanni, wake up!”
I didn’t want much to wake up, I tell the truth. And also, why all this rush? I know that there is this terrible problem of deforestation, but even sleeping a few hours more for sure I could still manage to visit it.

Anyway, I finally went into the forest around there with Brigitte, a sister, and a brother. They were excellent, I have to say. They paved the way with machetes and knew all the plants and trees and their possible use.
All that vegetation that appeared to me as a confused green tangle had a utility for them. As food, as medicine, to make soap, to wash clothes, for painting their faces, to make necklaces, to build huts, to make baskets, etc. …

This reminded me of an old idea: to create a community where we work the minimum necessary to help Mother Earth feed us. And at that point to say fuck off to all the corporations that enslave us and to the states that steal us what is left, with taxes used just to pay the cops for beating us when we protest.
Nothing original, of course, since ever the smartest organize in that way, but seeing it now concretely, I’m convinced that it is indeed achievable. I don’t like to work anymore. I just want to laze during the day and drink wine the night by a bonfire.

“And to travel, how are you going to do?”
Well, guys, we can’t have everything…
“But you didn’t think of us? Your blog readers? What will we read after? If the hen has laid an egg or not?”
Eeeeh, I know, I know, my dear readers, but there are thousands of travel blogs, don’t be afraid of that. Undoubtedly not as brilliant, not with such beautiful pictures, not with such sharp analysis, jaunty humor, freshness, and originality of style… yes, I know, most of them seem like little wankers, you’re right, but what can I do? Can I continue to travel the world like a spinning top? Mhmmm, but in the end, why not? Ok, we will see, we will see… Now the photos.


Woman with daughter in Puyo.


A tapir caressed by Sandra, a girl from Quito with whom I had the forest’s first tour.


Flying on a liana.


And with a typical boa on. In short, the usual bullshit you do in the Amazon rainforest.


With Sandra on the bridge leading to the village where I slept.


Children in the indigenous village.


The head of the village.


Brigitte with a flower.


The armadillo caught for dinner.


Dogs around the pot where the armadillo is cooked.




Girls painting their faces with the seeds of a fruit. The next day I surrendered to their requests, and I accepted to having my face painted too.


A stream in the forest.


Black-red seeds.


Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city, is a beautiful colonial city. It is located at 2500 meters altitude. Before being conquered by the Incas first and the Spaniards soon after, it was an important city of the Cañari, one of the many Ecuador indigenous ethnic groups.


Old women in Cuenca.




Live free! (A)

Alter do Chao and the new river journey to Manaus

Hello! I am in Manaus, where I arrived yesterday after another boat trip of two and a half days, from Santarem.

I was in Alter Do Chao for 5 days, and I was a little sad to move away from there. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place, where the river looks like a lake since it is surrounded by a bay. There are beaches with white sand, especially the “Ilha do Amor”, approachable by taxi-boats.
It has nothing of the hostile environment one would expect in the middle of the Amazon. The only animals around are some curious ugly black vultures searching for waste on the streets and, by the shore of the river, iguanas that look like mini-dinosaurs escaped from a Japanese cartoon.

After, I took another cargo boat to get to Manaus from Santarem. This time the boat was worse, and the trip was a bit harder.
Also, last time I managed to place my hammock at the end of one side, so, at least on one side, I had no one near. This time instead, I was in the middle of the hammocks tangle, on the right, left, up, down, and only a great weariness made me fall asleep the first night.

The next day, after many people left the boat at a stopover, I hung the hammock in another place, relatively spacious. But I didn’t think about the engine, which was just down there. It made a continuous noise that prevented me from sleeping. I don’t understand how the others around me could. It was really impossible, so I left my hammock and I reached a silent place on the boat where I spent the night with my laptop, reading, playing chess, and watching a couple of movies. (Thanks to my friend Stefan for giving me some films to watch in these situations.)

In the three days on the boat, an almost persistent flat white sky washed the colors, making the scenarios less spectacular than the first trip. We crossed several areas violently and sadly deforested, turned into meadows where cattle, buffaloes, and horses graze. On other stretches, we skirted high cliffs, covered with an orgy of clinging trees of all kinds. The dolphins appeared more often, together with all sorts of birds, herons, hawks, etc… of various sizes and colors.

In the meantime, a powerful thought conquered me: if this crooked proceeding in a dark forest, to the West … The road to western lands … if it was just a symbol, a metaphor of existence? “Why do we fly precisely in this direction, where all the suns of humanity have hitherto set? Is it possible that people may one day say of us that we also steered westward, hoping to reach India — but that it was our fate to be wrecked on the infinite? Or, my brethren? Or?”


A beach of Alter Do Chao.


The boats that ferry to “Ilha do Amor” (Love island).


A small strip of sand connecting two shares dell’Ilha do Amor.


Giovanni De Caro, DekaroMe :-)






Carnival in Alter do Chao. On small chariots, people danced frenetically while other people threw each other flour and spray foam, impossible to avoid.


Gentleman asked me to take his picture.


Canoe at dusk.


Sunset at Alter do Chao.


Again on the boat, this time from Santarem to Manaus, again a tangle of hammocks.


My hammock’s neighbor. Well, in the end, a little promiscuity is not so dramatic ;-)


But sadly, it was forbidden to jump on the other net :-(


The same girl as before.




Mother and son.


Canoes on the river.


Boys on a canoe greet us.


Canoe and hut.


Another blue sunset.


Next time I will tell of Manaus. I was thinking of making a tour in the forest from here, but by all accounts, those in Ecuador are nicer and also cost less, so, since I will also go there, it’s better to wait.
Also, I’ll do a little “cheating” in the sense that I will take a plane to get to Colombia. The reason is that there are not freighters for passengers to Ecuador, the only one passes (maybe) once a month, and the travel conditions are terrible. An alternative to reach Ecuador from here is: Manaus-Tabatinga (a week by boat), Tabatinga-Iquitos, Peru (another week by boat) Iquitos-Yurimaguas (still another week by boat) where finally the road is reached, and from there to Ecuador it takes maybe a week, in short, more than a month of traveling!

So, because the flights to Ecuador are very expensive from here, I changed my original plan, and I booked one for tomorrow night to Bogotà… keep following me! :-)