Blogs from East, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve March 15th 2019

Today we are returning to civilisation. I can’t wait but first we have to endure: - 2 hour canoe ride - 2 hour bus ride - 4 hour wait at airport - 1 hour flight - 1 hour taxi ride Things I’m looking forward to this evening: - Phone coverage to speak to my girls - WiFi to read the news/sports results - WiFi to check up on what my friends/family have been up to on social media - Electric lights - TV - Power sockets - Hot shower - Dry towels - Proximity to shops - Clean running water - Being allowed to use shampoo/conditioner - Being able to eat/drink what and when I want - Clean sheets - Far fewer insects - Not stinking of insect repellent - No animals in the bedroom - ... read more
Cuyabeno Bridge
Loading supplies at Cuyabeno Bridge
Flight to Quito

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve March 14th 2019

Today’s schedule consists of a 6.30 am birdwatching session on the observation tower (basically our bedroom roof), a jungle walk and a canoe trip which combines swimming and caiman spotting. Why anyone would want to do any of these things is beyond me. It’s going to be a long day. We go to the roof at 6.30, as scheduled to look for birds. In 90 minutes we spot 7 vultures, 6 parrots and 5 toucan. The old man is so excited, he plays bridge on his tablet while the rest of the group look for birds, then goes off in search of coffee. After breakfast it’s time for the jungle walk. I decide it’s not for me and spend the morning with my book on the balcony again. I’ve definitely made the right call; 40 minutes ... read more
Squirrel monkey outside my bedroom
Squirrel monkey
Squirrel monkey

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve March 13th 2019

Today we are going to a local village where we will pay an indigenous family to show us how they live. Inflation in the village is obviously rife, as the price has gone up 25% since we booked. After breakfast and a cold shower, we set off in our canoe again. It takes 2 hours to reach the village. On the way we see dolphins, sloths, 4 species of monkeys, bats, parrots, toucan, hawks and hummingbirds. Once in the village we are taught to make yucca bread. First we go into the jungle to dig up the tubers, then we grate them into a mini canoe, dry, sieve and cook the resulting ‘flour’ like a pancake. Our guide has brought a tuna salad to eat it with. There’s also fried yucca, plantain and a selection of ... read more
Grating yucca
Cooling bread
Stinky turkeys

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve March 12th 2019

Today we are going to the Amazon. I have a phobia of remote places, so the old man has booked a hotel only accessible by canoe. This morning we have an hour flight to Lago Agrio, followed by a 2 hour bus trip to a bridge then a 2 hour canoe ride to our ‘hotel’. I say hotel. In my world a hotel has electricity. And WiFi. And walls. All things I’m going to have do without for the next 4 days. We check in for our flight and I buy my last Diet Coke for 4 days - I’m about to go cold turkey. At $4 a bottle, it’s probably just as well. One last login to the airport WiFi – more cold turkey. The plane has propellers. I’m a firm believer that one shouldn’t ... read more
Arriving in Lago Agrio
Monkey
Sloth

South America » Ecuador » East » Misahualli March 4th 2019

As I write this blog entry I'm recovering from cataract surgery (right eye), staying with friends near Quito. I am trying to limit my screen time to rest my eye which is my way of telling you that this entry is likely to be more photos than text so be sure to scroll all the way to the end for a more in-depth pictoral tour. Fortunately, I had chosen, edited and uploaded the photos for this entry before the operation. If you are on facebook you will likely have seen many of these pics already, but now you'll get the full scoop! Today is day six sans cataract but I still have some inflammation -- the effect is like watching a 3D movie without the special glasses...hyper-real! I'm hoping to be given the all-clear to drive ... read more
Bday Dinner
Quito's Historic Center
Cafe Mosaico at Sunset

South America » Ecuador » East » Napo February 10th 2019

Now we have an experience to rival our Galapagos trip. Although Ecuador has just 2% of the Amazon Rainforest it is the most bio diverse region. The La Selva area has over 600 varieties of birds, 7 types of monkeys and countless varieties of trees, plants, insects and other assorted creatures. I have adopted collages as a way of grouping some of the experiences we crammed into our days at La Selva. Each day started at 5.30am and wound up shortly after 9pm with us collapsing into bed!... read more
Getting there
La Selva Lodge
Our room, "Tapir"

South America » Ecuador » East » El Coca July 15th 2018

César, the leader of Selva Vida, the project where I volunteered in in Ecuador, had been telling us a lot about the different national parks in the Amazonas of Ecuador. Having been a bit disappointed about not seeing many animals where we lived, I was very eager to go there. Fortunately I wasn’t the only one feeling this way ; when I told Maja that it would be nice to go to Yasuní together with César as a guide, maybe at the end of their stay in Selva Vida, she was very excited about it and talked to Jacob and César about it. César had been a tour guide in Baños and in the national parks before starting his project and he was excited about doing this tour with us, especially with Maja and Jacob, and ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » East » El Coca July 15th 2018

César, der Leiter des Projektes « Selva Vida » in dem ich meinen Freiwilligendienst in Ecuador gemacht habe, hat uns viel und oft von den verschiedenen Nationalparks in Ecuador erzählt. Da ich ein wenig enttäuscht war, dort wo wir lebten nicht viele Tiere gesehen zu haben, hatte ich große Lust einen dieser Parks zu besuchen und, glücklicherweise, war ich nicht die einzige die so fühlte! Als ich Maja sagte, es wäre ganz cool würden wir am Ende ihres Aufenthaltes in Selva Vida alle zusammen mit César als Guide zum Yasuní Park fahren, fiel die Idee auf fruchtbaren Boden. Sie erzählte Jacob davon und zusammen schlugen sie César vor diese Tour zu machen. César hat vor Jahren als Tourguide in Baños und in den verschiedenen Nationalparks im Amazonas und kennt sich dort sehr gut aus. Er war ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve July 6th 2018

There are many different countries that you might want to visit the Amazon from amd many different ways in which to explore this incredibly vast and diverse rain forest. Our choice was to visit the Cuyobueno national park in Ecuador. Through Anna's work, we were lucky enough to get a free 3 night 4 day tour free for Anna and net price for me. Our tour was with Jamu lodge, one of a hand full of lodges available. Getting to the jungle from Quito is either by plane or bus (you can guess which is faster but also more expensive). Either way, you will arrive a Lago Agrio and be transported with the rest of your group to the Cuyobueno River, about 2 hours by mini bus. We had some lunch upon arrival and then took ... read more
River roads
Amazon reflection
Anaconda

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve June 30th 2018

Day 1 After an overnight bus from Banos in which the heating was too hot and we were pressed up against the cold windows to cool down we arrived in Lago Agrio around 5:30ish / 6ish feeling pretty bloody knackered after a typically bad nights sleep on the bus. The pick up time from the hotel was 9:30am so we had to try and stay awake and kill some time. We got chatting to a girl from Berlin who was doing the same tour as us and had coffee and breakfast. I went to buy a poncho which was more entertaining than it should have been. After being told the one hanging up outside the front of the shop was $4, when I gave him a $20 dollar note the cashier proceeded to tell me that ... read more
Mr Toad
Evi our guide
Morning canoe ride




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