What Does an Arachnophobe Do in the Jungle?

Sucht euch eure Phobie aus...

Select your phobia…

Ask herself how she could have been so stupid and go into the jungle as an arachnophobe, of course.

I think I really believed it would be a brilliant idea for a confrontational therapy, but the reality looked a bit different, and in the end imagination was even worse than reality. At some point, my mind’s eye saw tarantulas lurking about everywhere, although I was lucky and saw only one – one more than I need in life. It didn’t help that this nice Australian gentleman assured me that the straw roofs were full of them, „that’s where they live“. Information you don’t need when everywhere you sleep, shower and eat is open and has straw roofs. And then there were of course various other less hairy 8-legged beasts, as well as giant ants, worms, bugs, mosquitos, giant flying unknown objects, etc. That’s jungle for you. The family of mice in a group member’s mattress was in Quito, though.

Ein Klo (Männerklo inklusive schwarzem Skorpion), dahinter Schlafräume

A toilet (men’s toilet inclusive of a black scorpion), behind, the sleeping quarters

Küche und Ess-Saal

Kitchen and dining hall

Rio Napo

Rio Napo

At least I can now look at pictures of spiders – so it wasn’t completely unsuccessful.


Obligatory dancing sessions



Wurm Willy vor dem Grillen

Worm Willy before meeting the grill

Wurm Willy nach dem Grillen

Worm Willy after meeting the grill. You can also eat him alive and wriggling. You don’t have to though.

I was (will still be for 1 day) in beautiful Ecuador – Quito, Amazon region, Banos, Otavalo, Quito. And of course the middle of the world – here I am sitting right on the equator line.

With a very nice travel group, beautiful landscapes, many activities, and the confrontation with a second phobia: If you don’t like heights, stay away from Ziplining – a mystery why I look so happy on these pictures.

Die Reisegruppe - vor dem Ziplining

The travel group – before the ziplining

Noch sehe ich glücklich aus

Still looking happy


Ich schwebe ein

Flying in

I’ve promised myself that I’ll only do peaceful, harmless things for the remainder of my journey. I did however receive a nice tiara from my travel companions for breaking glamour records when stylishly climbing up a muddy mountain and ziplining down again in golden flipflops (especially stylish with this Wehrmacht helmet). By the way, I notice that I have quite a number of pictures of myself this time, but all taken without selfie-stick, I promise!

Die Goldenen Flipflops

The Golden Flipflops

Style Queen

Style Queen


Quito is a very, very long city – between 50 and 60 kilometres long, depending on the source of information, at 2800 metres altitude and surrounded by volcanoes. The Easter procession was worth seeing, with many people in purple KKK-outfits, many cross bearers and people who ruined their bodies with barbed wire or cacti.

Quito is also one of those cities beloved by pick pockets, and a woman in my group nearly became a victim of theft – the thief was pretty inept though, and the police got him within 2 minutes flat, including the stolen goods. 10 frustrating hours in a police station later and despite a very weepy apology, the young man was sentenced to 15 days in prison and directly booked in – that’s what I call swift justice! Both public defender and the judge had tried to convince the victim to accept the apology and let the thief walk free, but she’s a tough Scottish woman and no bleeding heart and told the judge exactly what she thought about beautifying Quito’s theft statistics this way (I think, „falsify“ was the word she actually used), and the judge listened demurely and then passed the sentence.


And lastly: All countries have their own little delicacies, and in Ecuador, that’s “cuy” or guinea pig. Looks like a grilled rat, tastes like chicken legs.IMG_4166


Thursday I’ll fly to Cuba, and as the model nation of planned economy has spent only little time planning for internet, I’ll be off the grid for 4 weeks. By mid May I’ll hopefully show up in Canada. I wish everybody a wonderful time until then.

15 responses to “What Does an Arachnophobe Do in the Jungle?

  1. Gudrun – lots of good giggles from this posting – LMFO!
    I do love the glamour aesthetic – one should always wear golden sandals when terrified or zip-lining in my humble opinion!

  2. This post really shows how adventurous you are, (and highlighted, in my mind, how I am not). Looking forward to seeing pics of Cuba whenever your back online. Safe travels!

    • Yeah, Val, you only live at different places around the world all the time and go around and observe and explore yourself and the world around you – not adventurous at all, right? I only ever think adventures are great before and after I have them, hardly ever in between…

  3. OOh the capuccines! Scary! Obviously a Spanish colonialist import. I saw similar in southern Spain one Easter a decade ago. No barbed wire though!
    Congratulations on confronting the tarantulas. Not sure I could. In Cambodia they eat them. Seriously. Droves of people come by the buses holding up great platters of them. I didn’t indulge.
    Nor in those fat grubs that are such a delicacy in the Amazon, dead or alive!
    Bon voyage, sister! Never met you, but I wish I had. xx

    • Yes, there is a reason I am not going to Cambodia :). Thanks a lot, likewise, wishing you luck, success and happiness, and hopefully we’ll manage to meet up one day! xx

  4. I had. The same difficulty commenting on your site Gudrun. I think it is to do with an old WordPress account I had so trying this now. You have a truly adventurous spirit.
    I do not think you must have a single fear left that you have not confronted and not only are you still alive but you tell the tale with unvarnished honesty. I read of your travels and adventures but what strikes me most is the journey into yourself. As for the jungle and all it’s wonderful inhabitants? No thank you. I had a brief encounter with a leech in a small rainforest near Galle in Sri Lanka. That was enough for me, thank you. I bled for hours afterwards.

    • Leech – ughs, didn’t have that one yet! Thank you. I think there are still some fears left, as none of these are truly dangerous situations, just sometimes unpleasant and mildly terrifying. I am glad about all of the experiences, but I don’t think I’ll ever go anywhere with tarantulas ever again!!

  5. Amazing travels…great insights into wonderful countries and peoples. Tony and I will be in Canada in June/July.how long will you be there and whereabouts.
    You look very well x

    • Hi, I’ll be in Canada from 14th of May, Toronto first, around the end of May / beginning of June in Quebec, from June 11 in Vancouver, then fly to Hawaii on June 17. Any chance to meet up? Would be great!

  6. Hi Gudrun, really nice pictures I particularly liked the one where you are ziplining down the mountain!! Hope you are enjoying Latin America. Buen viaje!!!

  7. Pingback: Blogs die mich inspirieren 4 | zentao blog über zen + anderes·

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