Oriente Region, EcuadorPushed forward by a chugging long-tail motor, an old dugout canoe carries us down the languorous Conambo River, a tributary of the Amazon, at the western edge of Ecuador’s Oriente region. We spend the day on the river, sometimes baking in the sun, other times getting drenched by cloudbursts of rain.
We are followed by a screeching pandemonium of scarlet and green-winged macaws, chased by flocks of prattling parakeets, monitored by stealthy guans, and surveyed by the occasional toucan. A harpy eagle swoops above us, looking for its lunch, most likely a woolly or howler monkey that we have heard chattering and whooping in the canopy.
Once in a while, our skipper pulls the boat up along a shady bank to