The last place we visited in Ecuador was Sani Lodge – a beautiful lodge on a lagoon along the Napo River. To get there we took a plane from Quito, south east over the mountains to a small town called Coca – officially Puerto Francisco de Orellana.
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve is on the equator, between about 5,000 and 8,000 feet; a 2 hour drive west of Quito. When the warm air from the ocean hits the mountains, it rises, and as it cools, it condenses and turns to clouds or rain. The area where it condenses is called the cloudforest. It was cloudy or rainy, and cool most of the time we were there. There were a few moments of sun, but they didn’t last long. Continue reading
This post has loads of pictures. Machu Picchu and the landscape around it is so photogenic – steep mountains, mist rising from the valleys, and bright colored flowers.
Our next stop was Cusco where we took the train to Machu Picchu.
Now I’ll finally get to the traveling part of the trip. Our first stop was Cartagena, Colombia, where Mike attended an ICANN conference. We stayed at a beautiful small hotel about a mile from the conference center.
I especially enjoyed seeing butterflies and moths on this trip – I’d never been to South America or to the tropics before, so all of these are new species for me.
This is the sun going down over one of the shallow backwaters we drive through to get back to the boat landing. The photo was taken on October 9, 2010.
It’s pretty wintry now – we got just a little snow last week and it didn’t stay around. But the flowers are gone, and the scenery is all shades of brown.
The temperature got down to 18 degrees last night – our coldest night this fall. The flowers have almost disappeared, the summer birds are gone, and the winter birds are arriving. In the last week I’ve seen the first Northern Shrike and American Tree Sparrows of the season.