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Amazon and Galapagos Expedition

Learning came to life for a group of 25 students on the 2016 Amazonian Rainforest and Galapagos Islands expedition. This expedition combined working on a biodiversity research project with the Huaorani Indians in the Amazon with a week visiting the Galapagos Islands where students completed a course on Galapagos Island ecology.

Our first experience of Ecuador was the city of Quito where we had a fascinating tour around the city, learning about the politics and history of the town. Before we knew it, though, we were travelling by bus, boat and canoe to our camp in the jungle. Living conditions were basic with no electricity or hot water. The jungle noises were wonderful, frogs in huge numbers making a lot of noise and then, by day, insects and some bird sound. We had a productive week surveying bats, birds, frogs, snakes and vegetation. It was hard work and lots of early starts but living in the rainforest was a wonderful experience.

We travelled back to Quito and then travelled by air, bus and boat to the beautiful island of Floriana. To greet us on the jetty were iguanas, sea lions and crabs with blue footed boobies flying above us and frigate birds diving into the sea where turtles were clearly visible. What a welcome! We spent a week carrying out reef ecology and had a day diving. Marine life was abundant and we had lots to learn. It was a wonderful privilege to actually live on Floriana and we were made welcome by lovely family run restaurants where we ate each day.

Our trip ended with a fun day in Minto with walking, butterfly farm and tubing down the river. We flew home via Panama and saw the canal in action. It was a wonderful trip. All of us enjoyed it so much and have such great memories. We owe many thanks to Mr Milne for organising it all.

Mrs Jeanette Oakes