Ecuador: Quito, Cloud Forest, Amazon Rain Forest, Galapagos, Rumiñahui
March 11 - Mar 31, 2015
Bob and Alan, led by guides Santiago, Franziska, Efren, and Marcielle and meeting many more

[See Alan's blog with more photos and narrative at https://alanclinephotography.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/travel-while-you-are-young/]
[This adventure was arranged for us by Untamed Path, which we highly, highly recommend!]

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.

Cloud Forest:

Alan and Bob spend the first full day visiting the cloud forest and crossing the equator. Our guide was Santiago (middle photo on the right), assisted by Jorge (on the left). Santiago was educated in and fully informed about the ecology, geology, etc. of the area.

Video [1 min, 26 sec]: Some of the hiking was a bit challenging, as this short video shows.



Amazon Rain Forest:

For 8 days Franziska guided Bob, Alan, and Matt through the rain forest, assisted by Estuardo (who, among other things, did all the cooking), and Kipa. Franziska is an awesome guide, whose relationships with indigenous people, bus drivers, airport managers, and so many others completely transformed this into a magical adventure.

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.

Galapagos:

For 8 days Bob and Alan visited the Galapagos Islands, sharing a cabin in the Angelita 1 yacht, which held a total of 16 tourists, along with our guide Efren, Captain Andress and a crew. The experience felt luxurious after the rain forest. Half way through the trip, 8 people left and were replaced by 8 others.

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.

Blue-footed boobies.

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
















Rumiñahui:

On the last day in Ecuador, with a flight leaving at 11:30 PM, Bob and Alan attempted to summit the volcanic peak Rumiñahui, which is 15,459 feet in elevation. Marcielle was our guide for the climb.

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

Contact/Website Author:
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA
April, 2015

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