Bird eating tarantulas, army ants, anacondas
A couple of years ago my boyfriend and I signed up for a shared account on a credit card and proceeded to put every expense we possibly could on it. The idea was to cash in all the points every year or so and go someplace wonderful, and indeed we racked up enough that first year to buy two plane tickets to Rome. This year, we considered various options. Hiking in the Julian Alps was one; the outrageous airfares to Europe made it less appealing. A week in Iceland sounded grand, but before we could get our shit together it got too cold (and while I know Iceland has its wonders even in winter, the thought of long dark cold nights didn’t exactly thrill me). We kept looking around. Where could we fly that was reasonably cheap? For a week, only a week? (My old backpacking days make me feel any trip under a month is terribly rushed and inadequate.) Finally, we copied my mother and stepfather, who’d booked a trip to Ecuador.
Ecuador! I’ve never been to South America. Apparently Ecuador has the greatest biodiversity of any country in the world. The bird book alone weighs about fifty pounds. (There are pages and pages of tanagers, unbelievable. And the bird I want most to see is called a hoatzin, known for its bad smell and its clumsiness and its general goofiness and the fact that the chicks still have claws on their wings.)
We’re off tomorrow. We fly to Miami, then to Quito, arriving late at night. A day and another night in Quito, then a short flight over the Andes to a town called Coca, then three hours down the Rio Napo to the Sacha Lodge, a kind of birdwatcher’s mecca. No phone. No internet. You have to cross a lagoon in a dugout canoe to get there.
I have a million books, and if you have any last minute suggestions, I’m sure the airport in Miami has a decent bookstore. And I even brought my younger son’s Kindle, per your suggestions, this time, so again, suggestions are welcome. I can download them at the airport.
If I’m not eaten by enormous spiders, I’ll post as soon as I can when I get back. And if you have been to Ecuador, please leave a comment. Where should we eat supper in Quito?