Monthly Archives: July 2012

Regua – Atlantic Rainforest

I have now been at Regua nature reserve / Guapi Assu Bird Lodge for 2 weeks now. Everyone  here is lovely and all the Volunteers  are European  mostly British. We have to do our own projects and help with general maintenance. I am spending my days and some nights walking the main trails finding cool insects etc sadly yet nothing new or rare yet but at my rate it will happen.

Although it is primarily a Birding Lodge  it is really important to appreciate and understand the full diversity and the roles that each species has to play, without certain plants or insect species many birds would not be able to survive.

I am compiling a photo database of the non bird wildlife  for them. You do get some fantastic birders  like Sally and Chris Thornburn from Greenwich who appreciate  all nature  but you get others who just care about the birds. And I hope my photos will open peoples eyes and educate them too the wider diversity and the roles played.

Now yes there are other good photographers there but to do what I am doing you need a good eye for detail, a lot of the insects are small or hidden. You also need patience, passion,  time a decent camera ( a decent bridge camera will do)  and of course Talent – now I’m not being big headed  both Nicholas and Raquel( the administrators ) think I’m  amazing at what I am doing and want me back.

You  can spend  a few thousand  on a good camera  and lens  but if you don’t have the skill, passion for the subject of your photo or understand  the  subjects behaviour  then you won’t get a good photo.

Also I wish  this was not the case but over the years I have come across  a fair number of arrogant  British  birders. We can no longer treat wildlife the way the Victorians did. So if you get a good photo of something  rare or unusual  behaviour,  don’t just have on your  hard drive collecting dust. Copyright it and share it with others through  sites like  Flickr etc and let the Reserve where you took it use it if they wish (they will credit you). Its only through sharing information etc can we learn to protect more species from extinction. The human race is the biggest disease  to the Earth.

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Amazing Week

Have had an amazing  week in Río, Made lots of new friends  and contacts from all over including  some other Scots. The El Misti Hostel has been fantastic always lots going  on. Rio itself is not the prettiest of citys as its a bit of a concrete  jungle. But every street especially in Ipanema  has large trees which keeps it cool and the birds are louder than the traffic. Rio also has Tijuca National Park, which is the largest urban forest in the world and sustains a large diversity of wildlife.

All the tours have been amazing but The Favela Tour was my highlight,   I highly recommend  it. When I come  back I am planning  to work as a Volunteer  in the Children’s centre in the  Favela.

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Brazil

I’m  now in Brazil until September. Looking forward to it in an nervously excited way as  it’s my 1st  time here and its a new language,  luckily  with some similarities  to Latin American Spanish. The flights were good and the highlight  was being able to watch the plane land. The plane to Rio had 2 cameras on the nose one facing forward and the other one facing  down. You could watch these on your personal tv screen.

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Ecuador Summary

It’s  now my second time in Ecuador and most definitely  will not be my last its a lovely beautiful  country. I feel at peace and at home here,  and I  can see myself living here within 5 years. Spanish in Ecuador is nice too the ear rather tuneful if that makes any sense.

As for the people on a whole they are very welcoming and really touched that people wish too come and volunteer in their country,  of course  you  get the usual idiots and trouble  makers. But lets be honest you get them anywhere,  you just have to be street smart and know when to avoid eye contact. Ecuador does have issues after all it’s  a developing country. For me its this rawness  that gives Ecuador  its  charm as well as you still see a lot of you girls and women wearing traditional dress everyday.

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Heaven @ Hot Springs

On the way back to Quitó I’ve stopped off at Papallacta  which is a small mountain village famous for  it’s  Hot Springs which are special as the are at 3300m. Everything about Termas  is just pure bliss. If you’re ever passing you have to go.

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Quito Return

After a long day traveling. Which could of been a sequel to the film Planes, Trains and Automobiles, I’m happily  now back in hostel.

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