Monday, February 15, 2010

I went back up to the highest elevations of La Hesperia again Thursday…this time to collect data on Tangaré trees, an endangered species endemic to the Choco bioregion. Of course there were lots of new birds to be seen, though probably the most remarkable sighting captured on film was “the world’s smallest frog.”

We’ll set up a tent with red-and-white candy stripes and charge people a dollar each to take a peak.

It turned out while I was off climbing mountains looking for birds, a couple birds came looking for me.

This cute little Red-headed Barbet (a female hence the lack of a red head) bashed herself into one of the volunteer house windows. After a lengthy nap she pulled herself together and flew away.

And then there was a pair of Tropical Parulas determined to break into one of the rooms. One kept pecking at the window perhaps trying to pick a fight with his own reflection?

We had Friday off, so I took off for Quito Thursday evening. I somehow found myself at a club watching a Nirvana cover band. It was rather surreal. The front man really had the Curt Cobain image (longish blonde hair, plaid shirt) and even his voice down. I was quite impressed. And then between songs he would drop some banter in Spanish to the crowd and the spell would be broken.

The next night I somehow stumbled upon 5 volunteers from La Hesperia in the streets of Quito.Then we all got dragged into a bar/dance club by some promoters on the street promising us free entry and a free drink. None of us were complaining though we later found out that Ecuadorians are charged a $3 cover which seems a bit unfair to say the least.

Unfortunately I didn’t plan ahead properly and arrange to have Monday/Tuesday off for Carnival. All the other La Hesperia staff are away (it’s a national holiday), so I have to wrangle the volunteers, all of whom were likewise oblivious. Nearly everyone else in Ecuador is off to the coast or a few choice party towns for a couple days of parades, water fights and parties.

I can´t really complain though. Being back in the cloud forest is so awesome. And with everyone else away I am truly el jefe.

1 comment:

Lo said...

Poor bird... you know we didn´t have any bird issues when Shane and I were there... maybe they´re looking for us, not you!