Incredibly, we've made it through the whole trip. Not sure we'll be back more or less tired than when we left, but it sure was worth it! Thank you all for following our blog and big thanks to those of you who already participated in identifying some of the orchids we saw!
Day 18 - Road from Mendez to Riobamba
Let's start off with a nice breakfast at a small local restaurant, where they seem to be taking their coffee seriously.
Next, yet another "derrumbe" where debris fell down from heavy rains. Most people are blocked, but not when you have a 4x4 like we do! Up, up and away.
First stop (actually at the very end of the road, we decided to start at the highest point today) and immediately we find a nice Lepanthes sp. sitting on a rock with constant water flowing over it.
Next, this is a terrestrial orchid we've seen quite often in Ecuador, but no idea what it might be.
Walking along the road, we start stumbling onto more and more stuff (please remember we don't post every single orchid we've seen, that would just be too much to talk about), like this big-flowered Stelis sp.
2 meters further down, another one! Pleurothallis sp.
Here's an old friend we saw like a week or so ago. Lepanthes decurva (?)
Now here's a pretty one, small Stelis sp. reminding us of Stelis eublepharis or Stelis flexuosa, but the flowers are so much bigger and so white at the borders, it's gotta be something else.
Spotted from afar, this Elleanthus sp. was really easy to see. What a color!
Lots of Epidendrums around here, here's a couple we saw that were nice enough.
We haven't seen many Cyrtochilum in bloom, but this one was definitely a surprise. Incredibly yellow, this Cyrtochilum pardinum is a nice small orchid.
And to end the day with, this looks a lot like Lepanthes hirtzii, but we can't be sure just yet.
After that, the rain started to fall heavily for a long time so we decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel.
Day 19 – Back to Cuenca
5h drive again to get back to our final stop of our holiday. We left in the morning and arrived in the afternoon somewhere in Cuenca and straight to the hotel.
Day 20 – Chill day
Davina stayed at the hotel all day, while Ivan and I went back to a spot we didn’t have much time to visit a few days earlier. Unfortunately, there wasn’t that much more to see so a bit of a wasted trip, but still…
1 nice Lepanthes sp.
And something looking a lot like Lepanthes vespertilio?
Day 21 – Getting ready for our trip back home
Buying some Ecuadorian chocolate of course, getting our final meal here and of course, going to the Mundiflora greenhouses to select our plants. There’s nothing like walking around an orchid supermarket. Here are some nice things we saw in bloom and some overall pictures.
Now it’s time to relax at the hotel and prepare for our flight back. Tomorrow, we have to wake up at 4:30 AM. Yuck!
Day 22 - Arrival at home
Still awake somehow, it's past noon now here so no point going to sleep. Gotta stay awake to get back on our Belgian schedule! And getting into the greenhouse after 3 weeks is amazing, lots of new stuff in bloom here now.
We hope you've enjoyed this orchid trip as much as we have! Thanks again for reading, interacting and identifying the orchids we've seen!
See you on our next trip to...?