Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Whales,Birds and Butterflies
Tonight is our last night in Ecuador. We can’t believe 5 wks have passed us by so quickly. Our next stop is Venice, which entails a painful flight back to Miami followed by a layover in Frankfurt prior to our arrival in Italy.
Our last week has had its ups and downs…The downs included a day of (Tarak) vomiting and diarrhea which soon passed. It was crazy, the next day I was starving for some apple cinnamon pancakes. I think I’ve dropped to my all time post high school low of 170 lbs. Since then, Sharvari has been doing her best trying to fatten me up. The ups included a few days in Puerto Lopez. This coastal town is mostly a fishing village and a nice beach (if they’d keep it clean). Many parts of this town reminded us of India with cows, dogs and pigs roaming freely the streets and beach. The weather was nice and pleasant with cool ocean breeze. The best part of our stay was the humpback whales. We learned they recently made their way up from Chile to the coast of Ecuador looking for little lovin’ (mating season) and warmer waters. On a 20 person boat, we set off for about an hour into the Altantic ocean before we caught sight of these incredible animals. Even with the Dramamine, dried ginger slices and constantly looking into the horizon, there were some rough moments for Sharvari aboard the ship.
After Puerto Lopez, we spent a half day in Old Quito which is an UNESCO world heritage site and then went to the cloud forest of Mindo. We only had one day to spent there so we packed it in with all we could do. We woke up around 5 am this morning and went on a guided tour looking for birds. We must say bird watching is an art. Trying to find these fast moving creatures with binoculars can be very frustrating. Our guide would get all excited and point to some bird..let us clarify, point somewhere within a thick patch of forest. So, we would bust out our binoculars trying to quickly find it..however he would already have located it with a telescope for us to see, as we of course are zooming in on some leaf. We saw some really pretty birds and got some good shots of toucans. Lastly, we went to the Mariposa museum and saw butterflies through their life cycle. From being an egg, to a baby catapillar to a cocoon and then onto a mature butterfly. We even saw one being born (rather hatch from the cacoon) and the craziest thing..there was amniotic fluid!! Anyway, we’ve had an awesome time in Ecuador, but now we’re off again. Gelatos and pasta…here we come!!!