Exploring a little deeper the Amazonia.

As we were getting accustomed to the Amazonia edge, we got a taste of what it is to go deeper into the primary jungle. Let’s just say that without a machete you are definitely not a man in the Jungle and without a guide you will not make old bones as we say in French. Watch your step we are going through the mud.

103014_0406_Exploringal1.jpg

Because you are in the jungle doesn’t mean not taking care of your skin.


Dinner killed by the dogs, eat it twice once BBQ once stewed. We will talk about detail 101.


The camera itself was nervous on that one…

A tarantula hidden in the bamboo tree


This two photos capture well the intensity of the virgin jumgle.





No it is not cheese string rather palm heart, even fresh it doesn’t taste like anything.



Sophie on essaie tout mais ils resistent, et s’encouragent!

Meme si notre mere se laisse aller… litteralement!



Details


Conversation starter!

You’ve got to keep life entertaining during dinner.


Did you lock the door sweetheart?

Or should we say: “Fermer a clou?”



Let’s make this day a little easier, with a pirogue ride.


Kerly 12 is an expert.



Rather low freeboard for the cruiser.


But with an automatic bilge pump of course.


Watch those rapids!


Sophie notre pere ne recule devant aucun danger pour le film culte de Papi Duplo.




Now that’s a view you remember.







The next photos are sample of the most beautiful local specimen.



Oops what are they doing here those tow!!1





Ferry to grab the bus back, 7 knots of current rather sportif.

Transported in another dimension, the Amazon.


Truly it all started in the bus when they turned the light on; we were transported into another dimension. Out of Banos we made it to Puyo then another minivan to the doorstep of the Amazonia. The temperature rose rapidly along with the humidity level and finally the vegetation just engulfed us in its lush green. Unfortunately for now, we will have to keep the name of the community hidden, as a conflict of generation is arising and we believe that peace needs to be restored before outsiders come for a visit. Let us add that albeit this contention within the generation, we had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in one of the most incredible setting.

Undoubtedly this was an experience we will not forget for a while, and we hope that the next three posts will enable you to get an idea of the intensity.


Camp ground in the green.


Muddy? No not really…


The forest lutin, Freddy.


A few acres of forest in front of us.



Night life around a table, we are back a few decades.


It rained a little during the night, apparently a big storm but some of us didn’t hear a thing.


Kids collecting animal on the playground.


 




This water will turn into the Amazone at some point.


Amazone chic!





Sunday afternoon activities, in the bath tub.


Soccer time



Our hosts Delia and Freddy, and the gang of boys.


 

We used our new word, Puenting.

The new word of the day is also coming with a new experience, new thrills! With a spring in our step, we made it to the near bridge, but this time with something else in our mind and not to enjoy the view… Benjamin had set a new challenge to himself! Since he has been little he has been wanting to fly… So when we saw the set up on the bridge for bungee jumping, the idea was becoming more real! Well let’s see what happened…

Yes rather high, and when you look down this is what you see.




Last good bye, Valerie was in tears to see her boy going. You will hear the reaction in the movie.



 





I knew I wanted to do it, but never mentionned it before or Valerie would have had a heart attack.




The rest of the day was very mellow in Banos. We will be in the Jungle for few days so no update.

How far will our parents go? That is the question…

Well we pushed the envelope a little further today, actually rather strongly. We made our way to the Cascade route by bike, easy enough you will say. But we spiced it up along the way just to keep that heart beating. Sophie please don’t scream when you see your parents, they were willing and went on their own accord, no pressure.

For anybody looking to do the same leave at around 9am not later, the road is mainly downhill just a few short burst of pedal will get you over the hills. The best view of the Palion del Diablo cascade is from the Palion Islas park in rio verde. Then grab the bus back, and you are done.



19km de velo pour garder la forme.







That was the warm-up.


Et oui les grand parents nous en font voir de toutes les couleurs…


Papie Duplo ne peut pas s’arreter, un autre grand moment de tele en perspective.


Alors la on aura tout vu!


A oui quand meme.


Of course Benjamin had to be rescued as he came to a halt about ¾ of the way…






That one was luxury compare to our last.


Our parents happy to be alive.

Casa del Arboles and Banos life

We are lazily enjoying our days in Banos at the moment; a walk around town to feel its quiet energy, another trip to the market and a trip to the top of the mountain to enjoy the view. There are two ways to get to la Casa del Arboles by foot it is good climbing hike that will take 5 hours, you will discover a multitude of dwellings and mountains view like we haven’t had in a long time; or you take the 2pm bus (route 2) and it will drop you right next to your destination.

Told you we relaxed….

puenting

New word for our spanish vocabulary, Puenting will we use it soon who knows?

A suivre…

porc

Lunch was healthy…..


The ultimate tree house

Shall we move in?


Ladies had to have a go at it.







It had been a long time since we last saw music and parade….



One more for the collection Emma!

This is from your grandmother, she is ready to buy you a pair, do you like it?

Quilotoa to Chugchilan

This is the summary of another pretty amazing hike; around 8 am we left the view point at 3800 MSL and walked northward as per the instruction of this document. Once you reach the third and largest sand area, which take up to one hour to one hour and half, make your way down to the village. We didn’t and added 8 kilometers of walking plus a surprise you will discover later.

Once again here is a short recap of our days, in the village of Chugchilan, you have three sleeping options. The cheap run down dirty Cloud Hostal $15 with dinner and breakfast included, Mama Hilda $35 just next door which looks very well run and the Black Sheep hidden away in the forest for $100 we hope it’s good for that price. Evidently for those used to reading us, you guessed where we stayed, and let us add that it was the first time we had trouble sleeping when we saw the state of our bed sheets…

Nonetheless after a soundless sleep we set up again for a walk to the cheese factory. We had bought some bread and drink on our way out, for one of a kind picnic. Don’t worry; it is fantastic no need for more supplies just remember to take enough water for a 5 hour walk. If you are lucky you will be back in the comfort and warmth before the first drop of water, and warming up next to the fire.

When it is time to finally leave the village, few choices are available to you: A 3am or 4am bus back to Latacunga, yes you read it right AM, or if it is during the week you have a 6am, the one going to school in Sigchos from here you immediately transfer to another one for Latacunga. The 9.30am milk truck gets you to the same city but there is no bus until the afternoon though and nothing to visit in the mean time is what we read and saw. Once in Lacatunga we immediately jumped in a cab recovered our bags and made it to Banos via Ambato and two more buses.

You will be able to get an idea with the following pictures of the beauty of our surrounding, we just spent three days filled with breath taking views, Quilitoa loop was definitely up to its reputation.


Quilitoa Lagoon


You start at 3800 down to 2800 and back to 3200 normally if you follow the instruction, easier this way than the other.



Not always a walk in the park.



We knew we where not on the right track but had no idea of what was in stock for us.


At this point we have just found out that we were still 12km away..

Then the rain started and we needed to improvise a trail to cut corner.


And here is the surprise!

After 1 hour of walking we jumped in the back of a fruit delivery truck, a first for all involved. We paid him royally (but we were dry!) to bring us to Chugchilan.


Cozy…


By the road it’s one hour more on a fairly bumpy trail, the rain didn’t stop.

In the end, whatever price it still felt like a good idea now.



This is the next day on our way to the cloud forest look out and the cheese factory.



It has been established 32 years ago the best Emmental this side of the Alpes!



Picnic view, not a noise was to hear around.


Village school bus we were amazed at how piled in they were,

If only we had known! The next day was our turn almost a 100 people in a regular bus, needless to say we were a little tight.



Arrived in Banos.

With yet another visit of…



And boys will be boys no matter where we are in the world.

Quilotoa Loop Zumbahua fair and Quilotoa lake

This portion of the trip was one of the sections a little more unknown and a little less obvious for us to plan. There was a lot of information available online, although confusing. We will have available the next two posts and share the secret of a very enjoyable loop with wonderful sceneries.

Our advice for those interested: Make your way early to the Latacunga bus terminal, from here jump in the first bus for Zumbahua. Note that at this point it will be important to travel very light, if you can arrange to leave your main bag at the hostel, bring with you some warm closing and rain gear because you will need it guaranteed and don’t forget a hat either! If you plan it well Saturday is market day, you will have time to enjoy lunch and provision for the next day. From here, go directly to the community of Quilotoa situated right next to the crater and lagoon. There are two options readily available: A bus if you are lucky on timing or a pickup which is easy to find.

Another comment: We would advise to skip the “Posada de Tigua”, while we had reservation upon our arrival we were informed rather abruptly that they were closed with no room available for us. The place looks run down and rather tired…. Not too worry there are few other hostels with a great dinner and breakfast included nearby the lagoon of Quilotoa, a little bargaining and the room w/ the meals incl is yours for $17 per person. We picked Hostel Chukirawa and were not disappointed; it was truly charming surrounded by nature.

Because we arrived midafternoon this gave us a chance to have a snack and leisurely admire the point of view while watching the clouds coming down slowly in a very mystic way.

Well time for a photo tour…

 

 


Last shot of a surprisingly very enjoyable and quaint Latacunga.


First impression of the vista, breathtaking.


Our love for market will never end.



Gentlemen lunch is served.


Looking for some raw wools? We have the adress.


Natural sweet; the Panela. Made of sugar cane and beautifully wrapped.


Sophie: Une photo de notre mere a ressortir lors d’une occasion speciale…


We took the cheaper pickup option, with the ladies up front making a new friend meanwhile the boys are roughing it.



The professional traveller or Routard.



Unlimited view until 3pm and from then on the clouds are closing in and the rain follows.





Coming in slowly and wrapping up the mountain all around.


Thomas et Louis vous aviez raison la grand mere fait bien dans l’herbe seche.

The grand mother doing camomille rail.


Sunset on the surrounding, magic.

Our vision of everyday life in Ecuador

The last two days have been dedicated to move half way down the country and walk around two cities. We now have made our way to Latacunga in preparation for the Quilitoa loop. So here is a selection during our exploration of everyday life.

 


The new official logo of Ecuador, “Ama la vida” “love Life”


Benjamin training for the balcony salute



Yes we have to have our daily dose, beautiful painted one.



We (read Laurent) gave in and tried the local treat, whipped cream “mora” flavor and extremely sweet



Patio and beautiful wood work are everywhere.



The election of Miss Latacunga is a fierce competition

We saw posters all around town


All saints day typical bread, a brioche type filled with pineapple and herbs

 


The local dress code.


Ecuador is all about safety first.



And that’s where you will end up if you don’t watch step!



Beautiful markets at every corner.


 


Somebody got to look good, but the press was present…

No comment…

 


Of course you take the bus with plastic mannequins for your retail store!

Discreet and efficient…

Libertad Train Ibarra to Santa Catalina de Salinas

Today we took the golden age option, meaning marvelous views with very little effort, nevertheless very rewarding. Ecuador is renovating its railway system around a touristic offering, at the same time you will feel like an old time president travelling in a private car around the country.

But first, we made our tour of the market for breakfast; watch out for the refrigerated taxi transporting the pig.










They know how to budget in ecuador, don’t you think.



6 bikes escort make you feel special for the day.


Et voila la troupe de retour.

Ibarra

As usual when we come back to civilization we are in shock! As a matter of fact, Ibarra engulfed us back into the noisy and ever chaotic life of a city; nonetheless we found the market and did a bit of walking around the old town. We even took our daily quota of catholic education albeit starting to feel full…








If that’s not a face for movie whas is?


“To speak to God no need for a cell phone,turn it off please”


Spanish or Quechua your choice.