Ecuador, 1. Yanayacu, 12-23 Sept, 2008


The arrival to Quito scares me again a little bit – I am really used to flying, and never have a problem, but there is something about landing in Quito (and the same goes for Cusco) that makes me grab the armrest a little harder.

My friend is waiting for me at the airport. He is here to take pictures (again) of the Ecuadorian rainforest. His main project is taking panoramic (360 degrees) pictures inside primary forests (you can check out some of his images at )I pride myself in being his “assistant”, which means sometimes I get to hold the external flash, help him spot some of the myriad life forms that call the forest their homes, and make general comments about the heat, the humidity, the presence of mosquitoes and the absence of hot showers…

We spent 2 months in Ecuador last year (Machu Chindu Reserve, Rio Napo area, Yasuni National Park) but there is still so much to see…

I only spend an afternoon and an evening in Quito this time – just enough time to feel the effects of the altitude (headache and nausea), visit my favorite restaurant (PapayaNet) and stock up on some cheap dvd-s.

R. met another photographer, Murray Cooper (check out his book on Ecuadorian birds: Las Plumas), who offered to take us to a cloudforest 2 hours west of Quito. The Yanayacu Biological station is run by his biologist friend, Harold Greeney, who is an expert in butterflies. So the next morning we are heading out to Yanayacu (close to Baeza and Cosanga). The elevation is around 2200 m and it is COLD. The first night I am wearing four or five layers AND a hat AND a scarf to bed, but I am still freezing…I wish I could be at the lowlands..the-view-from-yanayacu-station

The view from the station….

Harold has a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to his guests, which means we get to do whatever we want, whenever we want it. The guests also cook for themselves, so we let loose of our creative culinary energies, and spend the next 10 days eating huge amounts of french fries (with ketchup) and spagetti (with canned tuna). Anticipating some rice-filled weeks to come, we try to clear away from that…

There is a well-maintained road next to the station and some family farms, so it is not an intact area, but the forest is really beautiful. The trees are covered with mosses and bromeliads, and crystal clear creeks running through the forest, intersecting the trails countless times. a-little-creek-at-yanayacu

The birdlife here is extraordinary, lots of tourists come to visit just for the birdwatching. In our 10 day visit we did not really see bigger animals, I guess the closeness of human settlements are not really conducive for the bigger mammals. What we have seen are numerous colorful caterpillars, frogs and insects. Harold brought our attention to one, that lives in a drop of fluid. Once he pointed it out to us, it was easy to find alongside the road, on the bamboo. Never seen anything like it…



The weather did not favor us the first few days but when the sun came out it was such a treat! The green colors of the forest lit up and everything became illuminated.








1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Balázs Erzsébet said,

    Gratulálok! Nagyon szépek a képek.

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