Monday, January 23, 2017

2017 Ecuador Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition (January 20 - February 3) - Dispatch 1

Cayambe/Antisana Skills Expedition 

Guide: Jeremy Devine

Climbers: Mark C., Stephen D., Blaine C., Samuel W., Stephen H., Rod L., Donna K., Brian F., Sean M.

January 21st Dispatch

Hello! This is Jeremy, reporting from Ecuador.

Today (Saturday), we had a wonderful day traveling from Quito to the Imbabura province an hour and a half northeast. Our first stop of the day was at Parque Condor, a refuge and recovery center for injured raptors, falcons, and condors. Many local species were represented including the Harpy Eagle, Mottled Owl, and of course the Condor. Some non-native species confiscated by local authorities were also present including a Bald Eagle.

After our stop at the Condor Park we continued to the town of Otavalo renowned for its Saturday market. We had a large lunch at a restaurant serving a mix of local specialties and international cuisine. We then took some time to explore the market and purchase local goods including alpaca blankets, ponchos, hats and crafts.

On our return trip we stopped for bizcochos and coffee. The bizcochos are a local favorite from the Cayambe region and are a mix between a cookie and bread, still warm from the oven! A great treat at the end of the day.

We are hoping for a good weather day tomorrow, continuing the trend we saw today of lessening rain. Yesterday we experienced almost constant heavy rain and we will be happy to see an improvement. The great thing about starting the trip with rain is that it can only get better! We're looking forward to keeping you updated as our trip continues. Hasta pronto!

A Black Chested Buzzard Eagle (Águila Pechinegra - Geranoaetus melanoleucus) at the Parque Condor rehabilitation center near Otavalo.

Spectacled Owl (Búho de Anteojos - Pulsatrix perspicillata). Photo courtesy of Parque Condor.

Central plaza in Otovalo near the market

Group photo on our way back to Quito, overlooking Lago San Pablo

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