MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
# #

September 18, 2009

Ecuador Images - Mountains to Amazon


By Mark Gunlogson

Click here for complete photo album

Trying to finish up the last of the blogs for the family adventure trip in Ecuador. After Zuleta we headed down into the cloud forest for some ziplining, bird watching, tube rafting, and taking in the beauty of one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. Great stuff and only an hour or so from Quito!

From there we spent four nights in an amazing jungle lodge on the Rio Napo, a major tributary of the Amazon. There we swam, floated down the river on a balsa raft, ate ants, learned about how the trees and plants are used by locals, and basically stayed in one place for awhile, unlike the rest of the trip when we were on the go almost everyday. It's amazing to think that in about a half a day you can be in the highlands, even on a glacier, and by the afternoon you can be swinging in a hammock in the Amazon Basin- talk about diversity!

We ended up the trip back in Quito doing a city tour with Mountain Madness guides Alejo and Gaspar- always good to see them. Quito is an amazing city and among it's many sites to see are some of the oldest churches in South America and it has the church with the most gold on the continent. Grace and Ellie took in a huge painting of the Judgement Day, followed by a 20 x 30 foot painting of hell! Scary stuff for young minds....

In the evening we ditched the kids with a box of pizza and a movie up at Amber and Ossy's house and Heidi and I enjoyed a last supper at the Rumiloma- notably, it is considered one of the top ten places to eat in the country- way to go Amber and Ossy building this spectacular place! Not much else to say other than we had a the trip of a lifetime not soon to be repeated, or at least not until the next time!