Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sacha Lodge - Quito

21 Nov 2011

Today is our 13th Wedding Anniversary, what a way to celebrate!

Evening View of Lake Pilchicocha

This morning, we had another early start so we could do our packing.  Leaving the bags outside the room we ventured down to breakfast, I think we both need to diet after the food we have had for the past few days!  Just outside the dining room, about a dozen Black Vultures were roosting in the trees.

After breakfast, it was into the canoe for the last journey across Lake Pilchicocha, then the 20 minute walk back to the Rio Napa.  During the canoe ride, we saw more Woodpeckers and heard the Red Howler Monkeys again.

Baggage canoe on Lake Pilchicocha

Back at the river, it was into the big canoe with enormous outboard engines for the 2 hour, 50 mile journey back up the Rio Napa to Coca.  During the journey, we saw quite a bit of bird kife, notably Egrets, White Hawks and Cocoi Herons.  A real luxury today was the snack bag we were give to eat en route up the river. 

Again, it was obvious just how shallow the river is as we slid over several sandbars, one almost caught us, but a huge burst of power from the engines forced us over it.

Back at Coca, we again ventured into Sacha House where abandoned our life jackets and picked up some more cold water before the drive to the airport.  At the airport it was fairly chaotic and we were informed that our flight had been delayed due to clould at Quito.  The wait at the airport was somewhat uncomfortable, especially as the huge air-conditioning units were firmly switched off, despite the temperature being in the mid 80s and humidity at about 90%.

Eventually, the aircraft arrived and we departed shortly afterwards on the 30 minute flight back through the Andean Mountains.   Snow-covered Cotopaxi could easily be seen from the aircraft.

In Quito, there was no sign of our tour rep, so we waited outside fending off various hawkers and taxi-drivers.  After a short wait, our rep arrived and we had to hike to the car park to find our car.  Luckily traffic wasn't too busy and we got back the Dann Carlton quite quickly.

Next, we retrieved our stored luggage and unpacked everything and then repacked in anticipation for our journey down to Cuenca tomorrow.  We are starting get the hang of this, which is as well and will be doing it again several times before we leave Ecuador.

For our evening meal, we pushed out the boat a bit and found an Argentian Parillia (I think that is the right word) round the corner from the hotel.  BBQ meat is the main meal at these places and we both ordered pork ribs, something we both love.  I've never seen ribs so large and with so much meat on - one order between two would have been better.  As for the taste and quality of the food - it was simply delicious, especially washed down with a bottle of Argentian Wine.

All in all, a great and memorable anniversary!

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