Ecuador Trip Report

April 2005
Copyright Henry Richardson

My Ecuador trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have ever been on and so enjoyable. I went to Quito, Tena, spent 3 days in the Amazon rainforest, Baņos, San Pablo, climbed up to 5000m on Mt. Chimborazo (volcano), Riobamba, rode on the roof of the Devil's Nose train, Puerto Lopez, and Otavalo. I have some photos in Galleries 1 in the Ecuador album:

photo Children in Otavalo

The 4 weeks there was excellent with many interesting experiences, amazing places I saw, and some good people I met.

photo Me being savagely attacked by a big, ferocious tarantula in the Amazon

While in the Amazon jungle I was savagely attacked by a big, ferocious tarantula. The struggle lasted for quite some time. Sometimes I had the advantage and sometimes the tarantula did. No one would help me. They just sat and watched. It hurt my faith in humanity. Then just when it had me pinned to the ground and I thought I was done for I slipped its hairy grip and escaped. Whew! Close call. By the way, on the ceiling of the hut that I slept in there were several hanging upside down on the thatched roof ceiling. While in bed I could look right up at them above me as I drifted off to sleep. I remember before sleeping I wondered if I would have a dream about a tarantula crawling on my face. I did. I woke up and it wasn't a dream. A tarantula was crawling on my face.......just kidding. But, it reminded me of Hungry Joe in the wonderful book Catch-22. Every night he had a nightmare about a cat sleeping on his face and he couldn't breath. Everyone told him he was crazy. One night he awoke and there was a cat sleeping on his face. :-)

Later that evening in the Amazon village we stayed in the villagers did some singing and dancing. They then wanted us to reciprocate with some entertainment. Hmm, we sort of looked at each other and wondered what in the world we could do. It seemed like none us might have any particular talent that could be used for similar entertainment. Fortunately, we discovered that one of our group, Rob from Australia, happened to be able to sing and play guitar well. He reluctantly volunteered to get us off the hook. He borrowed a guitar from a villager and did a great job! That really got the Amazon jungle party off the ground. It was his birthday, but he's the one that had to do the singing. :-) The villagers had some sort of homemade alcoholic beverage that they and we were all drinking and that helped loosen us all up. :-) Then Rob and Simon showed us some sort of funky, maybe a bit nerdy, dance associated with an Australian TV character. I am trying to remember the name and I think it was something like Russell Coight (not sure of the spelling). Well, all of us including the people from the village were hoofing around doing that funky dance while the village band played on and on and on. :-) The dance was funky, but not embarrassingly awkward like Elaine's dance on Seinfeld. :-)

photo Children in Puerto Lopez

Copyright Henry Richardson