Ann Linder and Simon Bruce, from Bolinas, CA.

walking through the #Amazon #Sani Lodge


Our boat docks at a small landing on the bank of the Napo River. This is where we disembark and walk about 2 miles through the jungle. From there, we will take a smaller canoe across the Challua Cocha lake to the Sani Lodge.

Everyone gets off the boat quickly, with assistance from the crew. Our plastic-covered bags are unloaded and placed in a wheeled cart. Thankfully, there are clean bathrooms available for use before we begin our walk. I’m nervous about walking through the jungle, and I’m glad to be with others, and with Victor, our trusty guide.

We proceed into the jungle two by two, with Victor at the front of the line, and the rest of the crew at the back. Are they protecting us from something? Or, are they just ensuring there are no stragglers? Probably both, I guess. I’m in the middle of the group.

There is no conversation as we walk because the noise surrounding us is deafening. This is the sound of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. Around us are hundreds of species of birds, bats, reptiles, river otters, tapirs, capybaras, anacondas, whitetail deer, peccary, and monkeys. Many, many monkeys, including the Pygmy marmoset, Coppery Titi, and the infamous Red Howler. I feel very small and very human in this jungle. It’s a cacophony of life coming at us from all sides, and it’s astounding.

I constantly scan the trees and underbrush. In the blink of the eye, I might miss something. I don’t have to worry about watching my feet because we are walking on thick wooden planks.  These boardwalks were built by hand from locally harvested Mahogany trees, which are abundant in the rainforest. The canopy gives us a dark cover, broken by occasional rays of sun shining through the leaves, piercing the forest with sparkling light, shimmering reflections, and orange glows.

It’s an easy walk, and it goes by too fast. I feel silly for being nervous. I know there will be plenty of well-marked trails on the lodge property, and I look forward to more walks through the forest once we arrive.




As part of our continuing work with the indigenous Amazonian community of Sani Isla in Ecuador, Deborah Tompkins is sharing a travelogue of her experiences as an American in the Amazon. Deb’s company, Sage Point, works with NGOs in Africa, Asia and now Latin America to develop and execute marketing and communication strategies. She is donating her time and expertise to support RP and the Sani Warmi community. We invite you to join Deb as she introduces you to the people, the community, their Amazon ecolodge, and their forest home.

#ExperienceTheAmazon #TravelAmazon #Ecuador #SaniLodge