This photo-blog is designed to work either as a standard blog with images or - by clicking any image - a photo-album. To see an image in full resolution click to the left or right of an image in blog mode. The images were generated from video to give the best possible view of the journey.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Over the Andes to Quillabamba

The forst leg of our Amazon trip the crew piled into a regional bus from Ollaytatambo to Quillabamba at the base of the Andean foothills on the Eastern side of the cordilleras.

This involves negotiating a tortuous winding stony road full of hairpin bends that winds slowly in a mass of grinding gears up into the clouds to the snowline.

After climbing out of the steep valley you hit a bleak wilderness of high tussock lost in the clouds ...

Finally we reach the snowline ...

The pass at the summit

Immediately you enter the Eastern side there is a blast of moist air. Everything is shrouded in fog and misty drizzle. The flora changes abruptly from alpine tundra to cloud forest.

At just about every corner the road is crossed by gushing fords ...

The river valley far below can be just glimpsed through the clouds.

More gushing fords and rapids crossing our path

Wild orchids and tea plantations along the road side ...

The housing is sombre and gloomy.

Almost immediately you reach a biozone where bananas grow

Then we cross into an arid zone where there is little rain and the vegetation is bare with cacti and a few sensitive mimosa plants.

The buses' brakes fail and we have to spend half an hour by the Urubamba while they fix them.

We cross the urubamba ...

and finally Quillabamba comes in view in the gathering dusk.

The streets of Quillabamba at night

The central park had a tropical feel with many scented flower trees.

Young men were playing folk music quietly in the park. Listen to the music here.

The evening was the first opportunity for the crew of eight of us to get to know one another and to have a night out before hitting the back road to the river port at Kiteni.

Our guide Jose Luis (right) with one of the crew.

A very raucous guy playing guitar with us in the bar.

You can hear him playing here.

Heath playing guitar.

Jane with another of the crew.

Chris in the element.

Adam (left) with two more crew members.

A golden brugmansia (datura)

In the morning we breakfasted in the central market opposite the hotel.

The hotel had a small menagerie with spider monkey and pheasant-like game birds.

Views of the town as we set up to take a truck to Kiteni.

1 comment:

  1. But plant spa is when I take the trouble to bring more plants in for the benefit of humidity.flowering trees