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Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Shacay Demonstrates the Blowgun - Ecuador, 2006
1. Shacay and the blowgun
Amazonia, Ecuador and New Year's Eve!

13 Of my CMC friends and I took a fantastic trip through
Ecuador during the '05-06 Christmas break. My main Ecuador page
features all of our climbing, shopping and people stuff while this page provides a glimpse
of the world's wildest New Year's Eve party and a huge side-trip through the Amazon rainforest...

 

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my main Ecuador page...

Click on any thumbnail image for a larger view
(a "Mouse-over" provides text info)

Amazonia:

Four of us (Dianne Edwards, Bryan Barnett, Graham Schelle, and me) took a side trip to Ecuador's portion of the Amazon rainforest over the period our group was resting in Baños, Ecuador. It was quite the adventure with Shacay (Rainbow Expeditions) being hired at the last minute along with his driver "Mangetti" (a derogatory moniker both took great delight in addressing each other with - they wanted us to believe it was related to a male donkey's sexual appendage but I remain skeptical...). Wild driving, punctuated with stops for groceries and girlfriends (for the driver!), took us over bumpy rainforest roads to waterfalls, villages, canoe runs, and nature preserves. It was a whirlwind tour none of us will soon forget!!
Shacay Checks the Blowgun Dart - Ecuador, January 2006
2.
Shacay Loads the Blowgun Dart - Ecuador, January 2006
3.
Graham Uses the Blowgun - Ecuador, January 2006
4.
Roger Uses the Blowgun - Ecuador, January 2006
5.
Blowgun Target- Ecuador, January 2006
6.
Bryan wears a leaf hat - Ecuador, January 2006
7.
Graham wears a leaf hat - Ecuador, January 2006
8.
Hiking through the Rainforest - Ecuador, January 2006
9.
Dianne and Graham in the Rainforest - Ecuador, January 2006
10.
Graham hikes through the Rainforest - Ecuador, January 2006
11.
Amazonia Leaf Cutter Ants - Ecuador, January 2006
12.
Amazonia Leaf Cutter Ants - Ecuador, January 2006
13.
Amazonia Flowers - Ecuador, January 2006
14.
Amazonia Hut - Ecuador, January 2006
15.
Amazonia Huts - Ecuador, January 2006
16.
Bryan walks across a Rainforest bridge - Ecuador, January 2006
17.
Bryan swings from a Rainforest vine - Ecuador, January 2006
18.
Graham swings from a Rainforest vine - Ecuador, January 2006
19.
Amazonia Rainforest Insect - Ecuador, January 2006
20.
Amazonia Rainforest Spider - Ecuador, January 2006
21.
Bowls made in the Rainforest - Ecuador, January 2006
22.
Rainforest Potterer - Ecuador, January 2006
23.
Dianne, Bryan and Graham - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
24.
Child and the Pots - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
25.
Relaxing in Hammocks - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
26.
Roger J. Wendell river mud face - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
27.
Roger J. Wendell eating ants - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
28. (See Soapbox below)
Rainforest River - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
29.
Rainforest River - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
30.
Rainforest River Rock - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
31.
Roger under falls plus Dianne, Graham and Shacay - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
32.
Graham, Dianne and Bryan at Waterfalls - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
33.
Bryan and Dianne in Canoe - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
34.
Mangetti, Graham and Shacay in Canoe - Amazonia, Ecuador January 2006
35.
Bailing the Canoe - Amazonia, Ecuador, January 2006
36.

Soapbox:

In #28 I'm eating a species of ant that resides in one particular type of leaf (they squirm a bit, on your tounge, and taste like tiny bursts of lemon as you swallow them). I now regret having eaten them not only because I'm a Vegetarian, but because we have no right to take the life of another living creature without sufficient reason - and, as these photos indicate, this was at a time in my life when I could afford to have missed a meal or two...

 

Amazonia Rapid Plant Movement - Ecuador, January 2006
37.
Rapid Plant Movement
This strange little plant folds up anywhere along the leaf where you touch it!! After a few minutes it unfurls itself and returns to normal. In this particular photo I tried to capture just half of the leaf structure folding up. Either way, it didn't appear that the plant was preparing to "eat" anything (in a way similar to our own Venus Flytrap) - its reaction to touch seems to be some defensive mechanism. I believe this species may be related to Mimosa pudica ("Sensitive Plant") but am not sure...
 

 

Getting There:

As I mentioned above, I was able to contract the services of our guide, Shacay, at the last moment. He, in turn, scrambled to find a driver (he called him "Mangetti" in jest...) while we tried on boots (the Rainforest IS wet!) and made other preparations that eventually took us through a checkpoint near Puyo and other adventures...
Guide Office in Baños - Ecuador, January 2006
38.
Trying on Boots for the Rainforest - Baños, Ecuador, January 2006
39.
Mangetti, Our Driver - Baños, Ecuador, January 2006
40.
Bryan, Graham, Dianne and Shacay on the road between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
41.
Shacay double-checks our passports as we approach Puyo and the Rainforest - Ecuador, January 2006
42.
Check-point betwee Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
43.
Nearing Puyo, Ecuador, January 2006
44.
Passports, drivers' licenses, business papers and other documents were all examined by the police at this checkpoint near Puyo and the beginning of the Rainforest...

 

River Gondola:

On our way to the rainforest, outside of Puyo, we took the
main road from Baños along a steep and narrow gorge.
"Mangetti," our driver, didn't hesitate to pass others, honk
his horn or wave his fist at other vehicles. However, he did
take time to stop to allow us a ride on one of a couple different
gondolas across the gorge - the cost was $1.00 USD, per person,
roundtrip...
River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
45.
River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
46.
River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
47.
Bryan Dianne and Graham on the River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
48.
Bridge below River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
49.
Machine operator for River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
50.
Trail below River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
51.
Roger's Foot on the River Gondola between Baños and Puyo - Ecuador, January 2006
52.

 

New Year's Eve:

I've never experienced anything as wild and crazy as the New Year's Eve celebration
that's put into action by the people of Quito and most of Ecuador. In the late
afternoon of December 31st (2005), as we were returning to the city, our bus (and
all other vehicles along the roads and highways) was repeatedly stopped by men dressed
in women's clothing who would dance and squirm in tight-fitting dresses to the amusement
off all drivers, passangers, pedestrians and passersby. Sometimes lifting a skirt, or
"flashing" a fake breast, these five-o'clock-shadowed men would blow kisses and wiggle
their behinds until somebody threw them a 50 cent piece or simple wave.

Another Ecuadorina New Year's Eve favorite is the selling, display, and eventual burning
of life-sized paper puppets representing anyone that had been up to no-good over the
year. George W. Bush, the local mayor, entire police departments and mothers-in-law all
received equal representation in this annual midnight burning!

Men in Drag for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
53.
Men in Drag for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
54.
Men in Drag for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
55.
Life Size Paper Puppets for sale during New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
56.
New Year's Eve axe in the head - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
57.
Life Size Paper Puppets for sale during New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
58.
Life Size Paper Puppets for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
59.
New Year's Eve food vendor - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
60.
Gasoline Powered Cotton Candy Machine - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
59.
New Year's Eve paper puppet to burn - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
61.
Celebrating the Arrival of 2006 - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
62.
Large New Year's Eve Paper Puppets - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
63.
Masks on New Year's Eve Revelers - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
64.
New Year's Eve priest with sexual device - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
65.
New Year's Eve Mother and Daughter - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
66.
New Year's Eve Masks, for paper puppets, for sale - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
67.
Life Size Paper Puppets for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
68.
Large New Year's Eve Paper Puppets - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
69.
New Year's Eve Folk Music - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
70.
Life Size Paper Puppets for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
71.
Life Size Paper Puppets for New Year's Eve - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
72.
New Year's Eve paper puppet to burn - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
73.
New Year's Eve Rock Band - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
74.
New Year's Eve Political Poster - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
75.
Fake Breasts for sale for New Years - Quito, Ecuador, December 31st, 2005
76.

 

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