The story of this national park you can dedicate to all those who love the water. Water is everywhere here.


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In the South of Ecuador, close to the wonderful city of Cuenca, in the Andean Highlands National Park is Fir Cajas. There are no snow-capped peaks. They were once and have sunk into oblivion, leaving behind tons of water in the form of incredible many high mountain lakes of glacial formation and rivulets. Yes and it seems in the very air of El Cajas, contains more water than in all its combined Lakes. Because it is here that the collision of the Pacific and Amazon air masses. Clash it shows up abundant daily rains and wet fog. Due to all these features, feeds the drinking water National Park great Cuenca and adjacent territory.


Almost the entire area of the Park occupies a unique ecosystem Páramo (high-altitude wet grasslands). Paramo of Ecuador strongly differs from similar ecosystems other countries its endemic (one of which is a tree rose), but there are similarities-as well as in other parts of the Andes, the Ecuadorian Paramo collects water not only from already endured rain, but clouds and fogs. This fact makes the trail hlûpaûŝimi and very raw, and with them the shoes, who dared to walk on them.


El Cajas all dotted with trails. Many of them are marked on the maps GPS. The northern part is the most adapted for hiking one day and nenaprâžnyh walks. The southern part is the most wild. In the southern part of the Park do not find wooden walkways, handrails and venues for photography. I must say honestly, sometimes it's difficult to find there the very trail. But … For a long time (we tested in practice three days) is not a living soul. In addition to wild deer and several species of unique birds (which is not so easy to see in the wild Wednesday in Latin America). Especially happy may be lucky to see the Andean Condor. In Ecuador, each Condor-literally-on the recount (i.e. really counted), and that's about three of them live in the mountains in the Park.


Especial pleasure hike through the National Park may be for lovers of fishing and fresh trout. Eighty years ago this noble fish brought in this region of Canada. Trout not only survive, but also spread across systems in lakes and rivers. Everyone within the Park can be in possession of a fishing rod and tackle. Trout fishing is limited to skill and snorovkoj wants.


But before we recommend to visit this wonderful water world, feels like a little bit of caution. If you are thinking in El Cajas with overnight (or several nights) should thoroughly prepare for dampness and cold (at night the temperature can fall to minus four). But, perhaps, already after the hike, otmyvšis′ and got warmed, hanging to dry things, you think it was worth it!

"Welcome to the wonderful world of watches, leave at the entrance.
A sign with such inscription would do well to install in all national parks. Petrified forest are scattered on every continent. What is it?


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Petrified forest known as the place where due to certain conditions preserved trees and vegetation age of tens or hundreds of millions of years. Of course, in the form of stones at it and petrified.

This can be called in a special forest-Puângo. Unlike most others, this forest is not in the desert (as in the United States or Argentina) and among the current forest. This fact adds real magic this already magical natural phenomenon.

A sense of unreality and even starts at the entrance. The park lies not only at the junction of the two States of Ecuador (El Oro and Loja), but also at the border with Peru. The terrain is hilly, with a hot tropical climate. Bright Greens set off red and fiery-red soil and spreads in the air Crackle of cicadas. The road to the Park deserted, for an hour and a half drive can not come across any machine. Registration in the small tourist office (Ranger Station and a small museum), another kilometre before entering and … The fairy tale begins.


Tourists rarely get to this wilderness. Therefore, passing the grandmother sells cut green mangoes with salt, wooden gates, you're left alone with the raging nature and mystery. The quintessential local regions are dated from 500 to 50 millions years before our era. Most of the available current eye 200-150 million years before our era. Worth paws trees end over your head, bright and hot sunlight becomes diffused, green, soft. And in this twilight, right on the trail, at the feet, and then further under the canopy in all directions-you start noticing log. Logs of different sizes, diameters, shapes. Mossy, patterned bark … Picture seems normal-you in the forest. But it is necessary to touch the one log, imagination is undergoing some fractured-it's stone. Stones in the form of pieces of wood of different colors and textures are found more and more often. Somewhere run Brooks (say, only in the rainy season), and if you catch this streamlet look, see-it turns out he is absolutely "milk".


All these wonders (milk sources rivers, mineral composition and the color of soil fossils) were due to the fact that all these millions of years ago in these parts, there were several active volcanoes. With each eruption, their ashes peresypal organic remains, was dissolved in rivers and forming silicate sediments that were preserved in repeatedly each organic box that was spilled in this chemical. Plus, very close Ocean coastline was held. During the long tides marine animals and shellfish caught in the chemical laboratory and just turned into stones over the years. The volcanoes subsided, died and equalized with the Earth. Sea water came and went over the "preservatives" appear one after the other sedimentary layers. Their heavy weight provoked a surprising transformation from hardened silicate forms, under pressure, semi-precious stones were formed. In our age of miracle fell as a result of the movement and gullies, solid fossils Earth literally squeezes out onto the surface. And every year they opened more and more.


But that's if this miracle is very accessible and sometimes located near roads in other countries, in Ecuador, it is at a distance. And see him hard enough. However, it is here, thanks to the living forest and rivers creates incredible atmosphere where time becomes negligible. Tropical butterflies, giant living trees-the descendants of those that petrified-soft green light, carry the consciousness in some parallel universe. And every moment seems to be that, in proswete trees fly or pterodactyl frequently shaking the tail will pass slowly dinosaur.

The small village of Vilcabamba, Peru, you definitely will recommend to visit not only every Ecuadorian, but each printed Guide to the country. This paradise has many reasons to be popular not only with tourists, but also for people who are tired of the hassles of developed countries looking for cozy and quiet place to live.


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The Ecuadorian Government has appropriated the title of village of Vilcabamba centenarians. At low altitude in the mountains (about one and a half kilometers above sea level), situated among beautiful green mountain ranges, lies the fertile valley, in which no fertilizers perfectly mature variety of fruits and vegetables. Clean water flowing down from the surrounding Valley of mountains, fresh air, and only one main road running through the edge of the village-all of this, of course, promotes longevity. It is precisely this longevity and was the main reason for the huge flow of expatriates from the Nordic countries of America and Europe-most of them believe in the wonder of the countryside, and of course, here's hoping a little outwit time.


But not only people of a solid age love this place. Many young people came by chance, for a couple of days remains here for longer. Despite the relatively expensive prices, a seat for yourself find almost all, because in the district very popular such peculiar community with pacifističeskoj ideology. Land purchased by wealthy foreigners are open not only to life but also to implement creative eco-friendly ideas-horticulture, construction, etc. To be admitted to the crowd easily enough to have desire and be useful to society. Perhaps so, unspoken name of this village of Vil′kabamby was transformed into Gringobambu.


Oddly, neither high prices nor the abundance of expats solid age, nor "hippuûŝaâ" youth do not spoil the Vilcabamba. In this village and its environs is appeasing reigns, arguably the most powerful feeling that it causes. The abundance of aliens creates a cosmopolitan and interesting space in which adults play find their classes. In this same space, visiting tourist can take a break from the "latinoamerikanskosti" (Yes, this is useful!) and some of the downsides of the Ecuadorian mentality.


In this seemingly nowhere, you can find not only a tasty yogurt, ecologically pure coconut oil, chocolate, cooked without thermal treatment, Yoga Studio and stuff, but also enjoy the wonderful nature of the Andes, naturally adapted for light hikes. In this place this Ghat if sags slightly, thereby becoming more friendly. Almost every mountain in the district-sacred to the indigenous population in almost every shady forest-wild and open mariposarij, which does not count the diversity of butterflies. Here is, that explore and where to go! Here it is enough to simply find a cute and cozy nest to taste (because in addition to hotels and hostels perfectly functioning letting among Europeans).


Hardly anyone talks about it today, but during the time of the Incas, Vilcabamba, Peru was part of the great Empire (even her name comes from the suburb of the capital city of Cuzco). Here was the residence of one of the last Inca rulers of Manco Inca Yupanqui. For a long time this small Valley not resisting conquest of the Spaniards. That is why, history and archaeology enthusiasts as well will find here lots of interestnostej (South of the village there are ruins).


About Vilcabamba, you can say a lot of good-that's true. But how to tell about a sense of happiness that is causing a stay here? When the morning coffee or dinner at sunset can be seen passing over the surrounding mountains clouds exploding in the distance. When each walk gives force and local invariably friendly and helpful. When even the harshness of the Andean mountains, as if retreating, and with it the cold and prolonged rain and icy wind. The notion of "bad weather" in Vilcabamba is misplaced. Here, perhaps, no big parties, and even Europeans go to bed early enough, but almost every day at sunset, the village covers a vast and incredibly close starry sky.

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On the island of Oahu (Hawaii) we were almost by accident. The flight was the cheapest (Melbourne-Honolulu), but because long, with the change of time zones. And maybe so or because lack of sleep the last two days, Honolulu-Hawaii State capital and the largest city in the us just once.

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Hawaii (10)

First Watch us all the time, it seemed that the world upside down and everything in it mixed up, so we ended up again in Asia, but somehow everyone here spoke English and prices-all after Australia remained consistently high. Among concrete interchanges, and featureless high-rises directly on the streets on sidewalks and in parks-live homeless. Some of them are "settled" at public beach restrooms, someone breaks the entire tent cities in parks, who lives on the shore under the Palm trees. Immediately around the public otherwise, with money.

Hawaii (31)

Salvation mountain turned out to be. Was it worth the climb (directly on one of the streets-up), and we were among the vysočennogo forest-unique, hard-saved-not completely destroyed. However, the high forest gave way to more stunted pines and deciduous and hvoŝevymi. To navigate simply trails well packed and with views of the ridges on all sides of the island, so knowing the graphic card, you can safely navigate even without gps. There began our different feel from Oahu.

Hawaii (24)

The turbulent feelings about the high cost and scuff subsided, we vydohnuli and began to fall in love in this small country, which is in fact just one of the States of United States. It was decided to explore nature in the best possible way and more wild places of the island. We stayed for free at the campsites, put up a tent in the Woods, met with local residents living on reserve (just not the way live on Waikiki) and stayed with them. Listening to stories of life again were scrambling into the mountains on the West side of the island, collecting valuable Walnut makadamiû.

Hawaii (20)

Once descended into the city, fall in love again became uneasy. But in the city we found interesting nonetheless. Cottage village with strange houses or a sure version-Chinatown (if you boring city where you are-go to Chinatown), which was worth only its small free Museum assembled bit by bit cute woman Llojden, which in fact was the only person from whom we heard the Hawaiian language. Heard in songs that she and her father sing gladly interested in culture or playing the ukulele.