Friday, September 18, 2015

Post From The Coast

Flying an Ultralight
Flying with Eduardo was very enjoyable thanks to great visibility from his aircraft.
Fliegen mit Eduardo war herrlich mit hervorragender Sicht aus seinem Flugzeug.
El vuelo con Eduardo fue increíble, la aeronave tiene una gran visibilidad.
By the time we publish this, we’ll have been on the Ecuadorian coast for over a month. Before we left the “airport” in Tabacundo, which had been our home for three weeks, our friend Eduardo gave us a ride in his ultralight aircraft. It was interesting and enjoyable to see from the air how rugged and jagged the country is in north-central Ecuador.
Monument at the Equator
The nearby mountains dwarf the Mitad del Mundo monument at the Equator.
Beeindruckend am Mitad del Mundo Denkmal am Äquator sind vor allem die Berge.
Las altas montañas dejan pequeñito al monumento de la Mitad del Mundo.
Back on the ground, we’ve been doing anything but fly: crawling along would describe it better. Take the fact that during our two-month trip so far, we’re barely 500 miles from our start in Girardota. This journey is very different from the 3-month mad dash seven years ago, when we drove 9,000 miles from Oregon to Colombia.
Camping at Playa Escondida
Playa Escondida: “the hidden beach” is named appropriately.
“der versteckte Strand” hat seinen Namen verdient.
Un nombre muy apropiado.
But back to the coast. After a quick stop playing tourists (and paying accordingly) at the Mitad del Mundo (Equator) monument just north of Quito, we arrived at Playa Escondida located between Tonchigue and Galera. There, we spent 10 days, half of which we needed to get our propane bottle filled.
Snowy Egret
The Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) is there every morning fishing for breakfast.
Der Schmuckreiher fängt sich jeden Morgen dort sein Frühstück.
La garcilla blanca todos los días toma pescado de desayuno.
How come? Turns out, Ecuador uses propane fittings different from US ones, which are used throughout North and Central America and Colombia. Who would have thought? So, we needed to get an adapter made and finagle our way into the refinery at Esmeraldas, one of only two or three places in Ecuador where propane bottles are filled. We left the adapter at the refinery in Esmeraldas for future camper who need their propane bottles filled. Since then, we found on iOverlander that US-style propane bottles can be filled at a station at the north edge of Ibarra.
Playa Escondida beach
Low tide at Playa Escondida allows extended walks along its coast.
Bei Ebbe kann man gut die nähere Umgebung der Küste erkunden.
La marea baja permite largas caminatas en la playa.
Now we’re wondering what will happen once we get into Peru. Maybe, if again there is a different system, they have bottles small enough to fit into our camper’s propane bottle compartment; Ecuador does not.
Blue Morpho caterpillar and butterfly
These big caterpillars also become big butterflies: the Menelaus Blue Morpho.
Aus diesen Riesenraupen werden große Schmetterlinge: der Blaue Morpho
Estas orugas gigantes se convierten en grandes mariposas: Morpho Azul
But for now, we’re in Ecuador on its Pacific coast. More precisely, we’re at Hostal Shantí in Canoa. Even though Shantí is only about 90 road miles south from Playa Escondida, its climate is very different: it’s much dryer here, and the vegetation shows it. In the north, everything is a thick rich green. Here, during the dry season at least, many shrubs and trees look bare, and grasses are brown. These plants are dormant now, waiting for the rainy season, when they will green up rapidly, adding new growth.
Boat-billed Herons
Boat-billed Herons are common in the mangove swamps.
Kahnschnabel Reiher sind heimisch in den Mangrovensümpfen.
Garzas autóctonas de los manglares.
low tide in Playa Escondida
Checking out the underwater world in the tide pools during low tide.
Bei Ebbe kann man Unterwasserwelt in den Gezeitentümpeln beobachten.
Observando la vida en los pozos que deja la marea baja.

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