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Exploring the Amazon and the Galapagos \ Photos

Always on the wing, flying from Quito to the Amazon
Not such a small plane after all. Just landed in Coca.
On the motorized canoe, just after landing in the Amazon.
The only time you'll feel "cool" in the Amazon. Watching the jungle pass by from the motorized canoe.
Feeling surrounded by the jungle as we paddle to La Selva.
Not too bad for a meal in the jungle! Lamb shank with fava beans and potatoes. Our first lunch at La Selva!
Dinner's not too shabby either
Nico taking in the view from our balcony
Our private balcony at La Selva Lodge
Our room overlooking the jungle
Full view of our room at La Selva
Slowly paddling back to La Selva Lodge after our first independent kayaking experience.
I can't remember the official name for this tree, but I loved seeing them in the jungle.
Wait..is that a spider? Are those wings?! Nightmares can come true...
In the land of giant bugs
One big cricket.
The large grasshopper that Danny had found took a particular liking to me.
Poison dart frog. What a cute lil' killer.
View of our lodge from the observation deck.
Looking out over Lake Garzacocha from the observation deck.
Danny getting us ready to catch the big one. Between the two of us, Nico was definitely the better fisher person.
Nico caught a tiny catfish!
Thankfully this guy was caught after we had already swam. Needless to say, we did not get back in the water...
Coming back to LaSelva after spending the afternoon fishing.
Our trusty guide Danny, paddling us on to more adventures on a misty morning in the jungle.
A map from the local community that we visited
Victoria tending to her yucca crop
Fistful of yuca
You cannot see the results of my "blowdart challenge", which is fine by me
Plantains, yuca, rice, and...grubs. Our taste of local cuisine with a nearby community
Following in the footsteps of our guide
The observation tower from below
Seeing the Amazon from 30 meters above. The observation tower at La Selva
Our room at the lodge
Cotopaxi above the clouds
This guy was right outside our room. He only came out in the evening, but you could see him pretty much every night
Taking a "risky" (and somewhat terrifying!) dip in Amazonian waters
Welcome to the Equator
Our guide at the "Middle of the World" showing us a "shrunken head". This one was (probably obviously) not real, but the genuine article was right beside him in that glass case.
A horrifying mural depicting the process of shrinking a head. Yep, really.
That's "Eggmaster Jeff" to you
Are you questioning my credentials? I think this 'Middle of the World' stamp will prove you wrong.
Our amazing cabin aboard the Ocean Spray
Frigates in the sunshine
Enjoying our private balcony while on Bartolome
Before our first snorkel in the Galapagos! Those wet suits were badly needed
The welcome committee. A constant sight at both wet and dry landings
Jacuzzi on the sun deck
Every day I made several of these (cappuccinos) to keep me energized for the days adventures
Exploring Genovesa
One of the first views of Pinnacle Rock from our balcony.
The surrealist volcano-influenced landscape of Bartolome
Harry diving down to the depths
Swallow-tailed Gull. Huge red eyes that apparently are used to attract squid
Despite the blue bill this is a red-footed booby. The only booby that has prehensile feet, which allows them to grasp onto branches
That equatorial sun is intense for a Northerner like myself! No style points, but at least I avoided sunburn
The Nazca booby. Part duck, part penguin, part seagull, all goofball.
On the search for the short-eared owl
Land iguana
Atop Bartolome
Just a picture of rocks. Or, is it?...
Closer picture of the short-eared owl. Not easy to see, but we ended up getting pretty close to this guy
A headless (or sleeping) booby
That's our Harry
Celebrating the "Ring of Happiness" before great snorkeling
Nico did not make it on this snorkel trip, but I still had to go
Nico snorkeling off Santiago
I realized on this trip that I am terrible at GoPro. But, that's a sea turtle...
Oh, Pinnacle Rock. You're just too damn photogenic
Kayaking around cliffs
Iguanas sunning themselves on Santiago
Iguanas everywhere
Close iguana encounters
Scaling around on Santiago
Bartolome from above
A frigate bird showing off its inflation skills
One of the many lunar rocks on Santiago
Flowering cactus
All those years of erosion create the smooth surface that sea lions crave
There is not much greenery on Santiago in August, so what little you do see really pops out
There is not much greenery on Santiago in August, so what little you do see really pops out
Sally Lightfoot Crab in the surf
Close-up tortoise leg
Nico's obligatory tortoise pic
My obligatory tortoise pic
Supposedly E.T. was based on these guys. I can see the resemblance
The coloration on the face indicates age. Our guide estimated that this guy was probably pushing 200
Never get tired of being around these guys
Our last sunset in the Galapagos. Bittersweet!

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