Jul 17, 2013 12:52 PM CST
|For many years now we have been buying Orchids from Ecuagenera and for just as many years have we thought about taking one of their interesting Orchid tours offered (nowadays at their website). This year it seemed the timing was perfect for the July tour and we contacted Jose Portillo of Ecuagenera. He assured us that we would be able to take the trip with them, even if we were the only participants. So we booked the tour and flights.
We were picked up at the Quito airport by Gilberto Merino, one of the founders of the company, and - as it turned out, we were the only participants this time, so Gilberto was our personal guide and driver the whole duration of the trip. We started out by taking a walk through Quito, visited the Equator and then the "Orchid hunting" ( by camera only of course) started by driving towards Mindo. Gilberto knew exactly how and where they were growing and flowering.
The main roads in Ecuador are excellent, a far cry from the hair-raising, very narrow, spiraling Andean roads experienced in the middle nineties in Bolivia. It seemed whenever we left a main road and it got bumpy, the Orchids were soon to be found. We traveled in a very comfortable Mazda 4x4 and Gilberto was a very capable driver, so there was no problem.
Every evening Gilberto labeled the Orchid pictures in my camera, which was very helpful, since we saw so many Orchids on a given day, it was tough to remember all.
I am thinking of posting my pictures in the form of installments, in the order taken. I will delete many and it will still be quite an armchair trip.
Starting in Quito after a few hours sleep:
Notice the Orchids in the Cathedral windows!
La mitat del Mundo ( Equator)
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