This was the last leg of our travels through Ecuador before we flew off to Galápagos. We left Manta in the early morning to drive towards the Avenue of Volcanoes. Our journey began well, we didn’t get lost, with what appeared to be aces and acres of dead or wintering trees. We were to discover later that the palo santo trees appear to be dead but are in fact alive. The we drove through a couple of small villages, one with a strange church in the centre and then that’s when we had problems. The road was under repair and was incredibly rough. Unfortunately for us this meant driving at about 30 kilometres per hour and it lasted for over 100 kilometres. But there a few photo stops to take images of a local house, a local travelling on a mule and some bird shots.
We were thankful when we got back onto the well surfaced road and headed towards Latacunga where we again encountered the misty and cloudy conditions before descending into the valley where we had views of live volcano, snow-covered mountains and the valley below. Due to the road conditions we arrived at our hotel, Sierra Alisos, at Tambillo Alto, near Quito late in the evening. Luckily our gracious host, Raúl, had some hot quinoa soup before we went to sleep.
After a hearty breakfast we relaxed around the gardens of Sierra Alisos, I was looking for humming birds and Farida was study the flora. Raúl told me two places to wit for the humming birds, the first by the red hot pokers where I would spot a colibri and another tree where the long tailed humming frequented. It was a beautiful sunny day as we absorbed all that natured offered with Mount Cotapaxi in the background and a hot coffee to supplement the scenery.
So ended our journey through mainland Ecuador – an extremely memorable trip with stunning scenery, weird and wonderful flora and fauna, friendly locals and wonderful cuisine. So many people went out of their way to ensure that our Ecuadorian adventure went smoothly so that our memories of Ecuador will remained etched in our minds for many years. We would love to return to this marvellous country, Ecuador – Love Life