Blogs from Napo, East, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » East » Napo August 26th 2012

I've been volunteering in the Amazon for over 2 months now. I've got my fair share of bites, stings and blisters, I'm exhausted from the lack of sleep, early mornings and strenuous treks, starved of any meat/cheese and generally any food that has taste or isn't beans! So, my weekend off that I returned from a few days back couldn't have come any sooner! Despite the hardships it's all been worth it though, what I've experienced in 2 months will be hard to top in my last month. Anyway, a bit about what I'm actually doing here.... The organisation I've been volunteering with are called GVI and they have projects running in most continents, normally focusing on education and development in third world countries. This one however, is different to most (although there is still the ... read more
Dog at Puerto Rico
Anaconda!!!
Henry in the hide

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo June 13th 2012

The statistics for the Amazon Basin are mind-blowing, even in what was, briefly, our infinitesimal part of it. Only 1.67% of Amazonia falls within Ecuador’s borders, yet it comprises just over half of Ecuador’s landmass. One hectare may contain more species of tree than the entirety of North America. The whole area contains approximately 5% of the world’s plants. More than 600 of mainland Ecuador’s over 1,600 identified species of bird have been seen here, about half of all species of bird found in the entire Amazon basin. There are more than 4,000 species of orchid. Of the 410 species of mammal, 165 are bats and 15 are monkeys. With over 450 species of amphibians, Ecuador is third in the world in terms of diversity of amphibians, and is seventh in diversity of reptiles with approximately ... read more
will someone get that flash out of my eyes?!
a view from a bar
Catedral de la Inmaculada

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo September 15th 2011

If you swim with Aligators, something will happen to you. Sounds obvious I know but when the Napo Wildlife Lodge in the Amazon said 'you can swim in the lake' they didn't say it was infested with Aligators. Two nights later we found lots of Aligators, some the size of a large torpedo, on the lake close to our huts. Still the nice man in the green shirt reassured me with 'they've not attacked anyone yet'! My problem ended up not being the Aligators, but more the microscopic bugs I consumed while flailing around in the murky waters. Overnight vomiting and a day or more on my back ensued but I had already seen lots of birds, monkeys, insects, spiders, frogs and even a pig to justify the trip. But the most amazing thing of all ... read more

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo June 9th 2011

According to the website of the Jatun Sacha Foundation their Amazonian reserve is situated at: The southern bank of the Upper Napo River, at an altitude of 450 meters above sea level, at 1º 04' S, 77º 36' W, in the Napo Province of Ecuador. This is the edge of Amazonia and was our chance to complete some volunteer work in an area that was always an ambition to visit. Ants, termites, butterflies, bugs and birds are abundant visitors and easy to see each day during the volunteer activities. Humidity and rain were constant companions during our month long stay in this ecological hotspot. During your time as a volunteer, you will assist with reforestation and learn about the forest. You might be able to teach English and will enhance your Spanish. You will almost definitely ... read more

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo April 2nd 2011

Sunday 27 March 2011 At 8am we caught a local bus which we stopped along the road to our hotel. We drove 30 minutes to the Quito central bus station to travel 4.5 hours into the Upper Amazon basic to our next stop, the Cotococha Lodge, which is 200Kms East of Quito. We had seats booked for us by Diego. It was a great bus and we shared it with the locals. Every time we stopped the locals would get on the bus to sell their wares and would get off at the next town. Everywhere we travel is so picturesque with having the Andes as the back drop. We were reducing elevation as the village we were going to was at 500 metres a.s.l. We changed busses at Tena. On the way we stopped for ... read more
Lounge at Cotococha Lodge
Dinner at the Lodge
Our Cabana

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South America » Ecuador » East » Napo March 27th 2011

Hi Folks. The main thing that kept me busy during the five weeks in the Yachana Reserve was my studying towards the qualification to be able to lead and supervise biological surveys. I chose to research amphibians and reptiles of the neotropics because they are so fascinating. It was a lot of work but I succeeded! I learned a lot in a short time and I really enjoyed every minute of it. Because the majority of these fabulous creatures are nocturnal, most of the field work was done at night in the rainforest, often requiring us to wade through streams and rivers and climb steep ravines in the rain, dodging tarantulas, scorpions and spiky plants en route.. The night VES (visual encounter survey) involved 6 people walking in a line for 500 meters over the course ... read more
Hypsiboas boans
Hyla bifurca - tree frog
Bufo in a bag.

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo March 26th 2011

Hello to all! The five weeks in the Yachana Reserve rainforest was an amazing experience! We both learned a lot about the rainforest ecosystem and the many species that live there. We both have so many fond memories of all aspects of the expedition that there´s a bit to much to tell in a single blog. We both had challenges with the communal/group living but it was a great learning experience, as was the constant battle fighting the mould! The climate is always 30 Celcius and super humid, clothes take a long time to dry and mould grows very rapidly. HIGHLIGHTS. Dave: My personal favourite was learning about the amphibians and reptiles. I spent many hours surveying and many hours studying in the classroom and have really come to appreciate these creatures a lot more. I ... read more
On the canoe on the Napo
A rainforest trail
Basecamp vegitation.

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo March 21st 2011

Just Wednesday before I left to the Rainforest my company told me that I have to join a couple from England to the Yacuma Lodge. My task was to accompany them on the way to the lodge and be for 5days their translator, as the local guide speeks only Spanish. Finally I had received a really interesting task! What made the whole situation a little bit difficult was, I did not had a clue how to get there. So therefore I asked some colleagues and received some information about the stations and where more or less I could buy the tickets. Feels kinda strange when you have to guide someone without knowing much as well. However I managed that we arrived in the lodge finally at 4pm! I was really released. Actually the whole journey went ... read more
P1010126
This is how you become a friend of the Rainforest
This cockroach was huge




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