Moths in Mashpi…


By Tamara Karolys 

Mashpi  Lodge, Metropolitan Touring´s upcoming top retreat in the rainforest, is starting to generate great interest amongst our commercial partners: they all want to come and see the region, how the project is developing, etc – and we are delighted about that!

It comes naturally then, that we from the Commercial team, join the visitors of the project on their field trips, meaning, we visit the Lodge with our clients and journalists, representatives and so on, during either a full day trip from Quito, or, as I did last weekend, sleeping over, using the staff house that offers all the comfort we could need.

We left Quito around midday, Daniela from Studiosus, her daughter Anica, Klaus (our personal interpreter in terms of nature, history, Biology, Geology…and well, many other things, he always has an answer to everything…) and myself – my first overnight in magic Mashpi area – I am a bit of City girl, so the idea of overnight is very exciting, yet I am not too pleased when thinking about all the insects…and I heard about the moths…

The drive takes 2:30 – 3:00hrs (unless you stop at ZAGAL – famous for good coffee, cheese & muffins, or a pp-stop)  and then a promising road sign makes you choose for the first time: would you like to “ La Delicia” ? O “Paraíso” ?…a tough choice…!

We follow “La Delicia” and soon enter the beautiful and lush, green rainforest. The Lodge´s construction is advancing fast. It is raining in the rainforest so we cannot enjoy our planned night walk.

However, the main highlight this evening are the moths anyway. Attracted by the light, they get together and perform a unique spectacle… I would not have thought that those creatures can be so fascinating and above all, so beautiful, stunningly beautiful!!!

We are blessed this night to observe literally thousands of moths, green, red, white, polka-dotted, fleecy bodies, lean and dry ones, sad to say that I step on many… They would not cease to come!!!

Every time I am surrounded by pure nature, I feel small, amazed, touched and surprised –  those small creatures usually provoke histerical shouts and aversion – yet in their proper environment, they are breathaking and fascinating; all fear is gone, I take several in my hand to be able to observe the dramatic design of their wings and I am proud of my brave approach towards the formerly unknown dimension of the moths, the feeling of Avatar is unavoidable!

Have a look at Ecuadorian artist Belen Mena´s Pachanga-book  with her designs extrapolated from moth’s wings and bodies. You will have a different view after that, that is for sure!

Mashpi Lodge online: www.mashpilodge.com

For more images of Mashpi, see   http://www.flickr.com/photos/mashpilodge/sets/72157626534276830/show/

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