Monday, November 3, 2014

Day of the dead in Quito

Nov 2 is all Souls day at home, and the day of the dead here in Ecuador. The celebrate by drinking a special drink called "colada morades" and eating buns in the shape of gingerbread men. So we had to try it. They also visit the cemetery to honour the their ancestors, so traffic was congested today too, even though it was Sunday.
Straddling the equator in Ecuador!
We went to the Equator museum. Got to do all sorts of experiments. Yes, the toilet really does flush clockwise in Australia. It's definitive!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Amazon over

Pic of the "uncontacted" tribe from the airport.
Rained buckets today, and the little birds called night hawks are just sitting on the sparely leafed tree in the background.

We are on our way out of the jungle today. It has been a great trip. We saw 7 different kinds of monkeys, caimans, boas and an anaconda! As well as lots of birds, bugs, frogs and butterflys. There are still 'uncontacted' people in this forest reserve. 

They are able to roam freely in this area and keep their way of life. But about 2 years ago they encroached on oil land and they were shot by the oil gaurds who killed about 200 people! It caused an outrage at the time. Oil is one of Ecuador's main exports and though they nationalized the oil industry, the environmental standards are not what they should be, according to our guide.

We flew in over the Napo river. The tributary of the Amazon we were located on.
There is a butterfly house where you can go to see the butterfly's close up. We saw the blue emperor, but they flit too much to photograph!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I caught one!

Piranhas that is! We are in the Amazon in Ecuador at a wonderful lodge. The chef (and the bartender) are amazing. Food is some of the best we have had on the trip.

Our room in the Amazon on the Napo River system
Up at 5:30, breakfast and then off on a gentle 5 hour trek this morning. We climbed a tower to take us to the top o
Our balcony, looking over what is called a black lake. Toxic to mosquito larvae! 
of the treeline and saw some amazing birds!
Many banded aracari

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sharing takes on a whole new meaning

Our book reading patio in Santa Cruz.

View from our balcony.

Looking back at our room.

No matter where you are, you share space with a sea lion or an iguana.

more on Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

The Charles Darwin research station is located on Santa Cruz. It is filled with birds, native plants , lizards and, of course, turtles. The land igauna is a beautiful golden colour. It doesn't seem to make any noise. Can't tell in this video of iguanas if it  is a mating dance or an aggressive stance. You be the judge..

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Rich, from our group, picking out his lobster.
Santa Cruz is the main island. Over 7000 people live here, but it's hard to tell. Rush hour is 4 cars waiting to make a turn on the main road.
Food is very good and reasonable. Lots of fresh fish as you might have guessed. There is even a restaurant where you can cook for yourself the fish you purchased at the local market.
We went with the group to a street that is filled with tables at night - an open air restaurant. You choose your fish or lobster and they cook it there. Delicious!
We have had 2 days on our own,  so have finished 2 books. This lead to a panic moment for the Handyman, but the local hotels always have discarded novels from tourist trying to lighten the load and he was able to acquire a new thriller.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bucket list panic moment

Well I have been lucky with my bucket list....
1 dive Bali -√
2 see a lion fish√
3 visit Thailand and dive √
4 visit Cambodia√
5 see Macchu Picchu√
6 see a mola mola (sunfish) thought it might happen yesterday
7 see a whale shark- ditto.

I was getting a little anxious that I might complete the list it.  But 2 of my items relate to downhill skiing which my knees can no longer stand! So I don't have to die yet!