We spent 2 days in the Paramo; one at the paper tree forest and another hiking around Chimborazo. The first time we stepped off our bus in the Paramo was near the paper tree forest. This was the strongest winds I have ever felt in my entire life! I would guess 60 mph winds pushing you, pulling you, doing everything it could to get you off the mountain. Living in Wyoming I thought I would be prepared for winds like that but I just can’t express enough how strong it really was. In the evening we stayed in a village and the villagers cooked for us. At first they were not going to serve cuy (guinea pig) but we asked if they would so that we could try it. It is not a very meaty creature but it did not taste bad. I would not eat it again though. That night I got terribly ill, I thought I would end up in the hospital I was in so much pain. When I woke up in the middle of the night I thought I was dying because it was so painful but I toughed it out and got better in a few days. While I was recovering on the bus the rest of the group hiked around the mountain and had amazing stories to tell and great pictures to see. I was sad that I could not participated but it was impossible for me to do so.
The cloud forest was an amazing experience. It had so many different species of plants with birds flying everywhere. There was a lushness that I did not experience in the Amazon rain forest. All the tree were covered from root to tip in bromeliads (plants that grow without soil) creating this green wonderland. The only problem with this “green wonderland” was that the mosquitoes also loved this wet lush place. I got so many mosquito bites there that I would be happy not to go back. The bites were very itchy (more so than other times I have had mosquito bites) and the mosquitoes were very hungry (they would bite you through your clothes no matter how thick). The cloud forest was to me the most beautiful (though hard to capture on film because it is so cloudy) but the least fun because of the bugs.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Veronica Warda. I was born and raised in a suburb just outside of Chicago. When I started looking at colleges I looked for places far away and very different from where I grew up and University of Wyoming fit the bill. I have a passion for learning and exploring. My trip to Ecuador will allow me to explore and learn and I can't wait to share this experience will all of you.</span></p>