Following are a few photos from each of the 5 areas we visited. If you click on the area title [Cloud Forest, Amazon Rain Forest, Galapagos, Quito], you will be taken to a page with more photos and videos for each day. The videos give a far, far better feel than the photos for what we encountered on these adventures.
Video [1 min, 26 sec]: Some of the hiking was a bit challenging, as this short video shows.
The way the guys were able to use machetes both on land and in waterways was incredible to watch.
Video [2 min]: The thick, hardwood log you see in this video had just been chopped by Estuardo and Kipa to make the passage possible.
|The motorized canoe, not yet loaded, which was our primary means of transportation down the Shiripano and Cononaco rivers.
|A squirrel monkey stares at us.
||A fer-de-lance, an extremely venomous snake, which was within a few inches of Alan's unprotected ankle when he sat down for breakfast.
Video [53 sec]: A villager carries a recently caught peccary.
|Matt finds an army of insects crawling across the top of his tent.
|A house along the river.
||The tents in which we slept at our various campsites.
|Matt stands on the village unused landing strip with Isabella and Rosa, who led us around the village.
|Matt catches 3 piranha which, combined with the three Kipa catch, makes for a good dinner. Bob and Alan caught none, but did have a good time fishing.
|Franziska takes a brief break from rowing in a lagoon.
||A village elder, Kempere, and Estuardo. Kempere and others from this indigenous village were featured in this 2005 documentary Waorani.
A villager kindly allowed us to have the hindquarters of an agouti (a rodent) he had killed, so for dinner later that night we had “rat's ass”, you might say.
|This mudslide almost certainly would have caused us to miss our flight if it were not for Franziska and her friendships with people on the local bus line and at the airport.
Video. [48 sec]: The young sea lions played around like kids and were fun to watch as you can see in this short video
|An iguana sits pretty much undisturbed by our presence, as did virtually all Galapagos animals.
|Frigate birds hover above Phil and Jen as the yacht moves and throws up an air current for the birds.
|Crab and lizard.
||Male frigate birds.
||Bird and egg.
|Gail, Phil, Jen, [Suzanne hiding], Judy, Judy, Meredith, Levi, Gary, John, Paula, Efren, Isabel, Annie, and Taylor
|Behind Bob and Alan is Cotopaxi, which some consider to be the highest, active volcano in the world at 19,347 feet elevation. It is located near our destination Rumiñahui.
Unfortunately, largely because Bob and Alan decided it was better to slow down to avoid altitude sickness, by the time we were within 300 or 400 feet elevation of the summit, we were stopped by a hail storm that was accompanied by lightning and thunder.
Video. [16 sec] : This video shows us starting to scurry down right after the hail begins.
Never-the-less, the climb was a blast that we thoroughly enjoyed, with outstanding scenery.
After finishing the hike, we showered at the hacienda and were driven back to the airport by Roberto in plenty of time to make our flight back to the US.
|The hacienda where we were served breakfast and dinner and, after our hike, took a shower.
||As always, beautiful flowers throughout Ecuador.
|The middle peak in the background is our destination.
||The landscape below is beautiful.
|Our destination, the middle peak of Rumiñahui in the distance.
||Climb now dangerous enough to require both helmet and rope.
||The hail begins to accumulate as we descend.
Video [31 sec]: A fox took a look at us and ran, so Bob ran after him and took a quick video (yes, that is Bob puffing, not a sound effect.)
|One of several bulls we meet that make us change our path
||Nearing our destination
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
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