Ecuador 2006:  The Andean Highlands

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Museo de Historia de la Medicina, Cuenca.

A line voltage regulator from Westinghouse, as seen in the fabulous Museo de Historia de la Medicina.

Colorful and well-preserved Incan ruins in Paraiso Park, Cuenca.  Who knew the Incans were such great master welders and painters?

Sunset just outside Quinta Bolívar in Cuenca.


As part of a week-long celebration of Simón Bolívar liberating Cuenca from the grip of the Spanish, we saw a performance of Ecuadorian cultural dance at the Quinta Bolívar.  I took many pictures of the dances from various parts of Ecuador, mostly clear pictures with my flash, but this picture resonates with me most in capturing the festivity and essence of the dances that evening.

The next day, 28 July, we took a trip with our guide Juan from Terra Diversa to nearby El Cajas (or Parque Nacional Cajas), hiking a 3-4 hour loop by Lago Toreadora.  We passed lagoons and ventured from the grassy and airy páramo, as shown in this picture, to the thick gnarled quinoa tree forests.


Flowers in the páramo, El Cajas.

The papery peelable bark of a quinoa tree, El Cajas.

Suddenly going from airy grassy open páramo to dense quinoa tree forests instantaneously is quite special to the Andes.

More views of the mysterious El Cajas, with its amazing diversity and terrain.


This plant is a member of the pineapple family.  A myth has it that this is the well-endowed chumulongo sleeping on his back.  El Cajas.

Lorenzo admiring the páramo, El Cajas.

You may be wondering why there haven't been many pictures of his wife Naomi.  It's largely because she crinkled up her face whenever I turned my camera in her direction.


Riding the small saddles in a restaurant near El Cajas.

Our guide Juan pointing out the flora in El Cajas.

Roast guinea pig and pig.

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