We started the day off with a half-hour motorized canoe ride down the Napo river to check out the Yasuni parrot clay lick. The parrots apparently lick the clay from the cliffs to reduce the toxicity of some of the seeds that they eat.
The parrots (mostly green amazon parrots, with some yell0w-headed and blue-headed parrots as well) were clustered around the licks and hanging out in the trees until something scared them all away
The culprit – I think this is the short-eared dog (atelocynus microtis) aka the short-eared zorro or short-eared fox looking for a meal. Apparently it is an elusive canid – many of the other pictures online were triggered by camera traps.
Our next stop was to la comunidad anangu kichwa (also Quechua or Quichua in spanish) in the Yasuni National Park. Our visit started with watching women perform a dance for tourists. Interesting side note – there is a small movement among Kichwa speakers to change the spelling from Quechua to Kichwa as a political statement against the Spanish language, which was forced upon their ancestors. Another interesting aside: there is a lot of untapped oil sitting under the reserve. The Ecuadorian government is seeking some sort of international agreement to be compensated for not drilling in the national park to make up for lost income from the sale of oil.
Kichwa child watching the ceremony. We watched demonstrations of trapping and hunting methods and then a short traditional cooking demonstration. We also tried some Chicha, a drink made of fermented yucca. We tried some – it tasted slightly sour, not very alcoholic and a little milky, starchy and gritty.
We returned to Sacha Lodge and climbed the metal canopy tower in the afternoon and looked at birds and monkeys.
The bridge between towers