I Got Jungle Fever

We had a fantastic day today despite a horrible night’s sleep. As expected, the plank-hard mattresses did not lend themselves to a good night’s sleep. And the room had no windows, only a door. So despite the lovely cool breeze outside, we had to sleep with the door closed (for security reasons) and the A/C blowing directly on the bed. It quickly got too cold and uncomfortable (I am not a huge fan of A/C unless absolutely necessary. It’s a weird, fake cold that just doesn’t feel good to my body). When I got up to turn the A/C off, it quickly got stuffy and uncomfortable. I was basically tossing and turning and playing with the A/C all night long. I was also wishing I was sleeping in one of the open air rooms in the jungle at the Rio Claro Reserve.

OK, I will stop grumbling and tell you about the fantastic day today. We decided to skip Hacienda Napoles because we heard from other guests at the hotel that it was hot and lame. Not the combination we are going for. We went back to the Rio Claro nature reserve instead. We went swimming at our favorite watering hole, had our requisite lunch of grilled fish and rice, with some beans thrown in for variety, and hiked around.

I was planning to do the canopy ride in the afternoon (where I would be attached through a harness to a cable running along and across the river and “fly” above the river) but the girls really wanted to do a white water rafting trip down the river. We had written this off on our previous stay here because we assumed that the trip would be too dangerous for them, but the staff at the reserve assured us that these were level 2 rapids and were pretty mild. We decided that since Saige was sleeping in a back pack carrier on me, Esteban would take the girls on the white water adventure.

Truth to tell, I was a little bummed to miss the girls’ first river rafting experience, but I wound up having an amazing hike through the rain forest with Saige sleeping on my back. It was kind of like being alone and while I am a huge extrovert, I was really relishing the solitude of the rainforest after a week with my kids. I just felt all the stress of trying to keep everybody safe and out of trouble in Medellin melt away. I love nature in all of its forms, but the energy of the rainforest is my absolute favorite. It’s magical. I can literally feel its aliveness and it, in turn, makes me feel so alive.

When Saige woke up from her nap, we went for a swim in the river. It was cool and refreshing and I felt cleansed and renewed. When Esteban returned with the girls from the rafting trip, I was ready for them and just felt so grateful for my family, for the rainforest, and for this amazing adventure we are having in Colombia.

Meanwhile, Jade was super excited about the rafting trip (“It was so cool, Mom! We got splashed and jumped off a rope into the river and explored a cave.”). Siena, on the other hand, looked a little shell shocked. Apparently she cried twice during the adventure.  They both want to go again with me tomorrow morning. I don’t know about Siena, though.

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