Ecuador: A country full of wonders [Part 2]

After spending some days in Quito and the Andes, my Ecuadorian trip then took me few years ago to my favourite place on Earth: the one and only Amazonia!

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If I had to write a love letter to one magical place I would definitely address it to the Amazon rainforest. Everything is so special there that it’s hard to put words on it but I guess I was always attracted to it like a magnet and know deep down that I’d be back someday.

What’s all the fuss about? There is a feel to it that you cannot find in any other place. It’s pristine, it’s exciting, it’s overwhelming and it’s miles away from our traditional comfort zone. And that’s also why going to the Amazon forest requires some preparation.

One of the worst enemy waiting for you there are mosquitoes. From making sure that your accomodation will have a mosquito net to buying some serious mosquito repellent, be ready to spend your days smelling like lemon grass! Making sure that your vaccines are updated depending on the area you are heading to is also extremely important so check with a doctor few months before leaving.

What I love most about being in the jungle is the surprising contrast between the fact that it feels peaceful but at the same time always so filled with life. You might walk around and see nothing and on another day just stumble upon a loud group of monkeys and colorful parrots. The jungle definitely rewards patience and determination.

As a biologist student on a field trip at the time, I had the chance to stay for few days in Tiputini Biodiversity Station. Our guides were incredible and allowed our group to experience so much during our stay. Knowing the forest by heart, they were always taking us to great places and were able to spot wildlife like nobody else could.

I still remember clearly entering a part of the forest where only one type of tree was growing and being gobsmacked to discover that lemon ants were actually killing all other trees in exchange for food and a place to stay!

To make the most of Amazonia, having walks with a guide both during the day and at night is a must. The wildlife is completely different and while you may be able to spot groups of monkeys, sloths, and birds in the early morning, the night will reveal incredible insects, spiders, snakes and amphibians. Lots of mammals are also nocturnal so you might get lucky and cross path with some opossums and bats.

Learning about the way local communities live in the forest and about their culture was also a great experience. The guides explained during our walks how to use different plants to build things or to cure diseases and we all ended up with nice (depending on our skills and creativity I have to admit) tattoos by just applying the stem of a certain plant on our skin.

Stay tuned to hear soon about the last Ecuadorian wonder: The Galapagos Islands!

Liebster Award Nomination!

Many thanks to Sarah, from 31 and over,  for nominating me for the Liebster Award! This award is a recognition given to bloggers by other bloggers and I’m delighted to have been nominated. Upon acceptance, you must then pass it on to other bloggers to continue sharing the love and discovering new blogs. So please, do not break it! Follow the rules below if you have been nominated  🙂

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The rules:

  1. Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you
  2. Create a post on your blog, displaying the Liebster Award Logo
  3. Answer 11 questions assigned by the blogger who nominated you
  4. Provide rules/instructions for accepting the award
  5. Nominate 5-11 new favorite bloggers for the Liebster Award
  6. Come up with a list of 11 new questions for your nominees
  7. Notify the nominees
  8. Post your Liebster Award blog post link in the comments of your nominators Liebster Award Post

Q&A with Sarah:

Who is your travel inspiration? Why?
Tintin! Journalist and explorer, this fictional character always inspired me to explore the world and I dreamt as a kid to follow his footsteps. Traveling while investigating incredible stories and meeting amazing friends, what better inspiration?

What’s the furthest destination (from home) that you traveled to?
Australia. My parents had the chance to win a trip there on the French radio and we all flew to this incredible country!

Do you like traveling alone or with a group?
I’m more of a solo traveler I have to say. I really enjoy making my own plans and be free to stop along the way if I want to, without having to stick to a fixed plan. Being a solo traveller doesn’t mean thought that I don’t enjoy meeting other people on the way. I love spending time with locals and other travellers! Heading to a hostel is often a good strategy to meet people and possibly end up traveling together  🙂

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A great solo weekend in Milan

Have you traveled to a place you couldn’t wait to get out of?
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was probably one of those places. The view is beautiful and the train ride was great but the place by itself was just sooo crowded. I honestly couldn’t take it and was quite glad to go away from it.

Can you give one hidden gem (name of the place and where it can be found) you’ve stumbled into that you would like to share?
The Tiputini Biodiversity Centre in Ecuador. Amazing place filled with an incredible amount of wildlife!

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Amazonian wildlife

What’s the most amazing thing that happened to you while traveling?
Many amazing things have happened to me while traveling and I’ve met people on the way that I’m still lucky enough to call friends. But if I had to choose only one moment, I would probably pick that time in Kenya when an entire class of Massais kids performed one of their traditional dance for me. They were training for a competition with other schools and it was an incredible experience!

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Massai school near Ol Pejeta Conservancy 


How about the scariest thing?
I was grabbed by something while swimming in Guadeloupe when I was a kid. Sure that it was a shark and that my last moment had arrived, I probably swam faster than I ever did since. 

Can you name a city or country you always find yourself coming back to?
The UK. I’ve studied there two times already and I keep coming back somehow. One day, when I’m old, I’ll have a cottage lost somewhere with a bunch of sheep and Scottish cows for sure!

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Aberaeron, elected best place in Wales 2016

What were/are your travel misconceptions which you have proven wrong – if there are any?
I was convinced that travelling from Brazil to Peru was fast and cheap. I was wrong. Brazil is really big so no Easy Jet flights to neighbouring countries like we have in Europe!

Are you more of a sea or mountain person?
I like both. Mountains full of snow and skying possibilities in winter and warm sea to snorkel and surf in summer!

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What’s on the top of your bucket list that you haven’t done yet?
Exploring Scotland and Patagonia!

Now I’d like to nominate a couple of amazing bloggers to spread the love:

Ginger Paws Outdoor, These Traveling Feet, Reverberations, Loudy’s Dream, Emma Eats & Explores, Passports and Pigtails 

My Questions for the nominees are:

  1. What was your first travel destination?
  2. What’s the weirdest way of transport that you’ve used while travelling?
  3. What is your favourite continent and why?
  4. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
  5. What are the top three things you always take in your suitcase?
  6. Why did you start blogging?
  7. What’s the worst thing you had to eat while travelling?
  8. And the best?
  9. Are you more into cold destinations or warm ones?
  10. What’s your best travel-related memory?
  11. What’s on your travel wish list for 2017?