Period : August 2009
Before starting my phD, i need to relax myself in South America...I did a trip in Ecuador and Colombia for one month with my friend Thomas.
WELCOME to Ecuador...
First stop : visit of Quito the capital
Center of the old town
An old traditional street with a lot of people (Saturday night in Ecuador ! )
After few days visiting the capital, we went to the North of Ecuador in the region called Cotapaxi
Stop to a big local market : Machachi
The one and only hostel in Aloasi
After 3 days in Ecuador, we decided to climb directly on the volcano : El Corazon (means the heart)
Welcome to the Andes chain
See the top : 6h to climb and 3h to go downhill : 4850 meters high : Come on Greg...So close
Then, we started to join the North of Ecuador in the Town of Cotachachi, after visiting the market of Otavalo for some warm clothes... (a touristic place... )
Church of Cotopachi
Laguna de Cuicocha : volcanic Lake (Caldera); 6h arround this lake in the Reserva ecologico de Cotocachi-Cayapas
Thomas (right) and i
After this treck, you visit fex other city between Otavalo and Tulcan (the frontier) to finally arrived in Colombia (next article) - See bellow the trip after Colombia.
Welcome to the Pacific Coast of Ecuador : Esmeralda and San Lorenzo
This afro-ecuatoria region is located in the north-west of the country, it's mostly covered by swamp mangroves and lagunes. In the past 20 years, with the petrol prospection, deforestation and the implantation of oil palm plantation, the unique biome called the Pacific forest was partially destroy, few ecological reserve survive !!!
Welcome to San Lorenzo : really interesting place with NO toursit (sweet!!)
The fishing harbor
We visited the town, and we decided to rent a boat to visit the ecological reserve called 'Reserva ecologica de los Manglares'
The mangrove swamp
Isla de los pajaros (bird island)
After few days of visiting, observing birds in the lagune (and off course swimming in the Pacific), we tried to find a local ecological reserve to do some naturalist observation
Welcome to the "Reserva ecologica Rio Palenque"
The park office and on the right, the view from the park surrouded by oil palm. The dynamics of this 100 ha-park is dependent of this situation : an isolation effect who drived all the exchange between habitats ! it 's called a forest island or patch.
Trees from the Pacific Forest : who can tell me the name of the tree on the left ??
All the most beautiful pictures will be included in an other article called biological diversity of Ecuador and Colombia, many pictures took in this park have been send to the local biologist Freddy, who manage alone the entire park (a very good guy !)
Then, we came back to Quito for visiting the touristic stuff : telepherico, museum and the 'Mitad del mundo' (see bellow) : it is an invisible line representing the limit between the north and the south hemispher (latitude 00'00'00)
In the middle of the world (japanese moove lol)
So, you continued our touristic tour with a telepheric who climb on a volcano up to 400 meters high : the Pinchicha (with a view on Quito)
Last day before leaving....
This country was also amazing ! I'm generally a little bit severe with the managment of the natural habitats, the case of Ecuador (petrol, oil palm, deforestation..) is not the only one ; it's a beautiful country, rich (biologically speaking) and diverse ! All the alpinist who really want to climb a 6000 meter-volcano would be very glad !