Thursday, Oct 20..
Yesterday was a rest day, or I thought it was. We are staying in the Hotel Quito in between the Galapagos and the San Jorge reserve trips.
Unknown to us the UN is having its Habitat III gathering here in Quito, so lots of security. This hotel is having the closing cocktail tonight at 16:30. We were up in the restaurant, 7th floor, when the fire works started…right at eye level.
I said a relaxing ,day….well a Jayne wanted to walk down to this church we passed in the taxi this morning. It’s not far, 4 to 6 blocks…straight down. Going down was not to bad, but coming back up..well we’re we’re about half way and I think our legs etc said that enough. Remember we are at 6000 ft. Thanks to the Taxi driver who was able to stop and get us back to the hotel.
San Jorge/Quito (8000 ft)
The driver picked us us around 10:00 in an old Chev 4 door pickup.
It took about 45 minutes to get to the lodge. The last mile I started to wonder what we got ourselves into. The road, maybe path is a better name, was nothing but one big rut, about a mile of it. Our room is up on top of a ridge looking down on rest of the compound. The problem us the dining room etc is down a path that’s again almost straight down.
Going down is ok, but coming up…no no no…we are at 10,400 ft now and I feel it.
Lots of humming birds at the feeders…yes the feeders are are down there…
Today is a be on you own so Jayne is taking it easy. This room is cold. Who would ever thing that on the Equator it cold. I am cold!
The power is out! The little space heater that is in the room is big enough to heat a very small 3×3 room maybe…oh well..we will see…
Well …they moved us down to a smaller room that had a small wood burning fireplace in it for the night. That was going to help, but then the power came back on. Jayne was not feeling good so I went to dinner alone and she got in bed…I do not think either of us slept very well.
Friday, Oct 21
Today the sun is out and we are shooting, pictures, of hummingbirds.
There is a patio with lots of feeders and a Guide assigned to our group. I guess others on the same schedule are put together for the activities. Our group is only 3, the two of us and an older single woman.
Most of the morning was shooting humming birds and a short walk around the premises. After lunch we loaded into a old van for a 1 hour drive across Quito , in traffic, to a reserve called Jerusalem. We walked around, but not sure we saw anything really worth the drive. The drive back was in rush hour traffic so we got back just before dark. I had the guide drop us off up top so we did not have that terrible climb, but assumed they would leave the key there also when they moved us back to that upper room. We could not stay down below because they had another group coming. Well…no key..so down I went to find someone and back up to let us in our room , then back down for dinner and back up again…NO MORE.
Saturday Oct 22
Breakfast was at 06:00 as we were to meet a new guide, Miguel who stays with us all week, to take us to the next lodge for 3 nights. Down the long windy path luging our stuff. We left one big case with all the stuff we do nit need for the next 5 days as we come back here for one more night before we are taken to the airport.
I made it clear when we return that we wanted a room down below…we will see…
San Jorge/Tandayapa (5600 ft)
We departed about 6:30 with our new guide and are taking the Yanacocha old road. Well that was worth the trip! The road is more like a washed out cow path winding up the mountains , 11,500 ft I measured.
As we worked our way along this road, our guide would stop and we would photograph differed birds. Jayne has to put a gallery of photos together as there was just to much to see.
About 6 hours later we arrived at Tandayapa. Again windy rut road up to this lodge, but this place is great. Our view from our room is outstanding and the room is 1st class! We had the room on the top floor end room
The next morning, Sunday, we arrived at the breakfast patio, all meals are outside, at 6:15 to photo all the birds around. Again Jayne has to put a gallery together.
Breakfast at 08:00 and then a walk in the jungle and up the mountain.
Jayne took a small nap and I stayed on the patio and watched the humming birds and a few very colorful ones. Lunch was at 1:00 and then another walk at 3:00. This time we saw a Queczal….ok what’s that you say well …..a photo soon …
Monday Oct 24th
Same routine as yesterday, but after breakfast our guide ask if we wanted to take a ride to see more humming birds at a friends place. Off we went..
The road was again a narrow rock strewn path. As you can see on the map we did come back partly on a paved road. Miguel suddenly stoped the van and we jumped out to see a….Cock of the Rock…..Everyone was excited so it must be special…I’ll get a photo posted here soon…
We arrived at the place and the The place was amazing! Hummingbirds and more hummingbirds…all kinds…
Photos to come
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