Your typical day
What is a typical day? It depends. If you are a University or High-School student, the day might begin rising before sunset and sleepily making your way to meet the others hardy souls in an early-morning birding walk to see the Andean Cock-of-the Rock in their year-round lek, or simply walking around with coffee-cup in one hand and binocs ’round your neck watching the birds and being awed by the stunning scenery.
Breakfast is around 8am, and it can be pancakes or French-toast served with home-made marmalades, natural sugar-cane syrup, juice and fresh fruit, all to be downed with freshly toasted coffee, herbal tea, or hot chocolate.
If you managed not to overeat too much, after breakfast usually it’s a walk in the forests. There are several trails to choose from, but the two most popular ones are the Asequia trail, and the high-forest trail. Before running off to the forest, however, a short intro lecture on cloud forest is in order, usually given by Carlos.
Bring your binoculars on the forest walks, as you never know which one of our colorful neighbors might show up. I mean the birds. With over 200 species, and some of the more colorful ones in the world, you want to make sure you can have a good look.
Lunch is around 1pm, after the hikes or hardy hammocking. Food is one of the main attractions here, but we’ll let Sandy water your mouth with her description of the great food we serve- a lot of it home-grown and organic.
After lunch, it’s usually time to relax, or go on shorter walks around the lodge, or down to the main waterfall (10 minute walk)- or dipping in the refreshing waterfall stream. Most lectures are given in the afternoon, lasting until just before dinner, which is around 7pm.
Nightlife. There isn’t any. Isn’t this why you chose to come here? Well, actually, there’s quite a bit of nightlife if you have the right equipment. At La Florida we definitely have the right stuff to turn on the nightlife. For insects, that is. Our special night light draws nocturnal insects like bees to honey. If you’ve never seen this phenomenon, then you are in for a treat. Two of our School for International Training groups comes with a renowned Ecuadorian entomologist to help identify the dizzying diversity of moths and other flying creatures attracted to the light (there’s no lack of bats to scoop up their slower kindred). But I’ll say no more and let Martin fill you in on the insect life at La Florida.
If you haven’t OD on coffee and all the excitement of watching the spectacular moths and beetles, then it’s off to be in one of the three cabins, and listen to the rain, the river, or just the silence.
I feel so blessed to have met you and been a part of your home. It was very spiritually rejuvenating as well as educational. You have inspired me to look deeper into the consequences of my daily lifestyle. When I return home I will try to share this experience and what I learned with the rest of the world
Thank you for widening my understanding of conservation.