Monday, October 10, 2011

Journey to Ecuador: Day 7

 Guango Lodge: Morning.

I awake at 6:30 to the sound of rain, from light to drizzle to mist and then downright heavy. Luckily there are two covered areas from which to photograph the birds. Problem was, we had already captured almost all of the resident birds to our memory cards so there was nothing to do but try to improve on what we already have. Overcast days can be fine for photography, a light overcast. Heavy and dark? Not so much.

By three, the drizzle had stopped. Mike and I were standing in a grove of plants, flowers, and palms. I had just made some shots of a Jack In the Box flower when some large but colorful bird flew between Mike and I and only knee high. We looked at each other. What the hell was that? Mike found the bird sitting on a walkway. It was another Trogan, the illusive bird we tried so hard for at the last lodge. Obviously, there was something wrong with it as birds do not normally sit on the ground while a half dozen photo geeks surround it. At one point Tom tried to pick it up with the intention of posing it on a limb but the bird found sudden life and flew, but not far. It found a nice limb and sat for photos for several minutes before it eventually took off, allegedly to find a doctor. The theory was that the bird had flown into a window somewhere and knocked itself silly just as the bird brains in the USA do.

One of our group, Rod, did not show up for breakfast where we learned he was ill and had put in a rough night. His roommate took him bananas and crackers during the day. Others have complained of queasy stomachs including yours truly, but all seem reasonably healthy today.

Between showers I took a hike down to a raging stream with white water crashing over and around boulders and as far as I could see. One slip and I would have ended up in Chile. I enjoyed the half hour of solitude with no competition to rush to and stake out the best spot for bird photos, and there’s always one best spot. Instead I concentrated on plant life, landscapes, and the stream.

We have four more nights in Ecuador. I ran out of whisky yesterday. Normally this would be a panic situation but fortunately Pilsener beer is available almost anywhere. Three bucks at this lodge. I can handle that.

Not sure what we ate today but feel confident it wasn’t Guiana pig. All evening meals start with soup. Tonight was tomato but had a yellow color to it. Very tasty as usual. Tuna patties, cubed potatoes, lightly fried, with asparagus. Dessert was delicious as always but I have no earthy idea what it was. Best guess was prunes with two pieces of cheese shaped like French fries. The meals here are served with a touch of artistry. A carrot slice had a star shaped cut out of the middle and stood on edge. The dessert usually has some sort of pattern or design to it.

Oh, I was wrong about the relaxation of the no toilet paper in the toilet rule. It was hidden in the guest book in a drawer. The big news is hot water! A good powerful spray to stand under and soak our aching muscles from handling heavy photo gear all day. It made up for the toilet paper nonsense.

The beds have three heavy wool blankets, a fluffy comforter, and one pillow. Enough to keep us warm at night but the room is c-c-c-cold. We have one electrical outlet. A thin extension cord runs to a single bedside lamp but instead of the lamp plugging in as normal, the plug is missing and the wires are poked into the end of the extension cord. In the interest of safety, electrical tape is wrapped around the whole connection. How thoughtful of the management.

My multiple outlet cord has been a trip saver. Between Colin and I, there are two AA battery chargers, two laptop chargers, multiple camera battery chargers, and one charger for my Kindle reader. If that doesn't overload the circuits and start a fire, nothing will. But come to think of it, a small fire would feel pretty good.


  1. This is a test. It is only a test.

  2. Beautiful bird and scenery. Wonder how much they pay electricians there?


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