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I am finally out on the roads again. The big city is behind me and a big landscape is ahead. I steer towards the rainforest in the eastern part of the country, where the jungle sounds are louder than the traffic noise. The road is calm and cuts across a lush and lively jungle. A butterfly settles down on my helmet before I start for the day and a grasshopper clings to my thigh while I am pedalling. I am riding through a landscape with clear waterfalls, fresh air and healthy trees.

All the beauty is somewhat disturbed by a rusty pipeline that runs along the road. It follows the road I am traveling on until I turn my handlebar in a southern direction. The pipeline continues towards the north east to a region which has been exploited by big oil companies. They have dumped huge amounts of oil waste around Lake Agria and the inhabitants are now suffering from diseases in a contaminated home. Their part of the rainforest is no longer a source of life, the water is now rainbow coloured and the soil is now shiny black. Clean water is the most important natural resource locally, but the world market seems to priorities crude oil.

Several kilometres further south, I am following the river Napo further into the jungle where I meet a man who is concerned about the oil spills. He shows me deforested and fenced in areas.  From my side of the fence I can hear mechanical noise that kills the sounds of the jungle. It is the new roar of the rainforest. My companion listens as if it is a warning voice that tells him that his home is next. He has seen the devastation further north and says that the he and the other locals have to fight against more oil extraction, that they do not have any other choice.

I put my tent up near a protected rainforest reserve. From there I climb up a thin tower that reaches above the tree tops with a view of untouched and non-ending jungle. For as far as I can see there is an enormous and energizing landmass below that comforts me. A few days later it is Christmas Eve where I am soaking in a healthy hot spring in the mountain town of Baños. I continue to cycle towards the village of Vilcabamba and the valley of longevity. It is here amongst the green hills that I celebrate the New Year. And I continue to enjoy the natural resources that remain during the first days of 2011.




  1. Anna S Friday, January 7, 2011, at 5:29 PM

    Vackra vackra bilder!
    Läser-njuter-blir glad av det fina, blir ledsen och arg över det svarta!
    Puss och Kram kära hanna

  2. Anna S Friday, January 7, 2011, at 5:34 PM

    ÄLSKAR din “Tack-lista”. Så underbart härligt att läsa om alla fina, vackra, hjälpsamma, inspirerande, hel-ylle människor du träffar! Jag blir lycklig!
    Jag ska skapa en sådan lista här hos mig, i min vardag! <3

    Kram och kärlek

  3. hanna Tuesday, January 11, 2011, at 12:37 PM

    Jag blir också lycklig av alla dessa solidariska och snälla människorna, de finns överallt och du är en av dem Anna.

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