Posts tagged with ‘Ecuador’

Beyond the Islands by Alicia Yánez Cossío

Beyond the Islands is set in the Galapagos. It’s a novel in the form of a set of eight stories, each about a different character. Each picks up from where the previous one left off, and there is continuity and overlap, but they are somewhat separate stories; eight narrative arcs rather than one overarching one. […]

Harry’s advent calendar of birds, day 10: Sword-billed Hummingbird

When I started this advent calendar I intended to just post picture of a bird each day and leave it at that, but I keep thinking of things I want to add. Today, though, I really am just going to post a picture: That is a Sword-billed Hummingbird, Ensifera ensifera. Not, sadly, one of the […]

bird of the year 2006: best performances in a supporting role

Best Plant All those rainforest plants were nice, and I enjoyed taking wildflower photos while I was in Spain. But, not least because it’s nice to pick a winner that I can actually identify, I’m going for the Galapagos Prickly Pear, Opuntia echios. On islands where there are giant tortoises and land iguanas, they’ve evolved […]

(my) bird of the year, 2006

While I’m rounding up 2006. 2006 was a pretty good birding year for me, mainly because of my trip to Andalusia at Easter and Galapagos/Ecuador in the autumn. But I did get one lifer in Britain this year, which for a rather occasional, fair weather birder like me was very exciting. That was Horned Grebe […]

Galapagos pics

I finally got round to uploading some photos from the Galapagos to Flickr. The whole set is here. It includes some sealions: boobies: and of course tourists:

Stupid instruments

Because I didn’t go all the way to Ecuador to find reasons to be rude about the US, let’s be rude about something Ecuadorian: pan pipes. The fact that people can produce tunes with them at all is a minor triumph for human ingenuity, but let’s be honest, they’re a rubbish instrument. They make the […]

Birding in the clouds

Well, I may be back in gloomy England, but I think I’ll return to my thoughts about the cloudforest. Sadly, the cloudforest isn’t a forest made of clouds. That would be like a Disney computer game come to life! You could jump from cloud to cloud collecting candy. Or something. The lodge was at 2000m, […]


Well, here I am, back in Quito from the couldforest.I managed not to get robbed this time. I have all sorts of no-doubt fascinating thoughts about cloudforests but I think I might be too tired to share them. Plus for some reason the text I’m now typing is appearing very very tiny and I’m not […]


Having said that I recommend the Galapagos, I have to say that equatorial lowland rainforest may not be for everyone. With the temperature in the 30s and 80% humidity, it’s hard work just walking around. Particularly, once you do get hot, it takes for ever to cool down again because your basic thermal regulation system […]

High drama on the Rio Napo

We just got back from the jungle lodge to Quito. I saw lots of birds and dripped rivers of sweat. And met a towering blond man called Thor. I don’t think he was the Thor though. No enormous hammers or eight-legged horses. And would a thunder god go in the shape of a Dutch birdwatcher? […]

Quito, the Galapagos and stuff

Well, I’m in Quito. Annoyingly, I can’t log into my webmail for some reason – some horrible bug in IE7 perhaps. I spent the morning looking at pre-Hispanic stuff at the museum, which I enjoyed, and then took a token look at the glories of colonial Quito before deciding I needed to sit down for […]

In the Galapagos

I´ve got a couple of hours in Puerto Ayora (on Santa Cruz, in the Galapagos), so I thought I´d post a quick note. I can recommend the Galapagos. For a start, the landscape is more varied and more beautiful than I expected; somehow in my head it was all rocks, but from island to island […]

And on to Galapagos

Posted in advance: Don’t worry, there aren’t going to be a whole string of these posts telling you what I might be hypothetically doing. But having spent the night in Quito, I’m now on my way to the Galapagos. Or perhaps when this post appears I’ll already be there: I don’t have the itinerary to […]

Over the Ocean

If all goes according to plan, both with WordPress and my travel plans, this post should appear while I’m somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on my way to Ecuador. We’re flying London – Madrid – Quito, so it’s a long day, but well worth it, obviously. I’ve decided not to take my telescope this time, […]

Cutting up books

I’m going to the Galapagos and Ecuador on Friday. Or at least, on Friday I’ll only get as far as Quito, but the next day we go on to the Galapagos, and after that, back to mainland Ecuador for a bit. My copy of the ‘field guide’ to the birds of Ecuador was so heavy […]

England vs Ecuador

Sorry, I know it’s been all football all the time here recently. I promise I’ll resume the normal diet of half-baked arts commentary soon. I seem to be the only person who was vaguely cheered by the Ecuador game and was left with an impression that England are getting better, even if only in teeny […]