Ecuador day 3: the lost hat

by Oscar Vargas
Day three was a hiking day. The original idea was to walk until the "Lagunas el Compadre,"    but hiking and collecting are not friends of time. After walking 5 Km out of the 14.5 in a little more that three hours the team realized that getting to the lakes was impossible before sunset. Therefore the team decided to walk back to the cabins and sleep the night there. The collection was great, at least 3 species of Diplostephium were collected, unfortunately a new species (in the process of being described) reported for the area was not found. Apparently that species is very rare, or may live in some microhabitat that the team did not explore.

One of the most amazing things of the hiking was the páramo, it was a very different páramo from the one of Colombia, in the peaks were the wind is really strong the vegetation was dominated by some dwarf Bambusoideae grass. In between this grass Diplostephium empretifolium was found, a compact subsrhub apparently adapted to the strong wind.
By the way, in one the pass up there the wind took my hat way, it blow 20 m high and then fell in the cliff, it was a funny/sad lost. That hat traveled with me for more than three years from 2009 to uncountable places, I hope I can find another one here.