Today is my last day in Curitiba for the next two months, as tomorrow I’m flying to Ecuador for a stint of volunteer work and South American exploration.
You’ve probably spotted, and perhaps even raised an eyebrow at, my fascination with our feathered friends, and this trip will see me well and truly wallowing in birdy goodness.
Tandayapa Bird Lodge, located about 30km northwest of Ecuador’s capital, Quito (as the crow flies), is a purpose-build cloud forest lodge, sat around 6,000ft above sea level – and is something of a Mecca for bird lovers.
Here, I’ll be helping visitors make the most of their stay, and most importantly, making sure they get the right snaps of the nature they travelled so far to get. I also intend to offend the locals with my dead-in-the-water Spanish, and pretend they are instead speaking Quechua.
Despite its small size, Ecuador has the biggest concentration of hummingbirds on the planet, as well as many endemic species.
This should keep me on my toes, as nearly every bird I see will be a first, a ‘lifer’ as us birders call it.
Towards the end of my trip, I’ll be doing so more run-of-the-mill sightseeing – and shall be reporting on Quito – Ecuador’s capital, and the world’s second highest, altitude-wise.
Of course, Ecuador is also where the Galápagos Islands, of Darwin fame, are – only a few hundred miles off the coast. Whether I get to visit these, and Ecuador’s biggest city, Guayaquil – time, and this blog, will tell, and will likely depend directly on how generous visitors’ tips are! (Kidding!)
Anyway, time for some more packing and a last-minute checks online for which plugs they use, if the water’s OK to drink, (wow, just found out they use the US dollar! Handy!) and what the chances are that I’ll be stabbed by anything worse than a hummingbird: