Blogs from Ecuador, South America - page 4

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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 23rd 2014

Next we went to a pottery factory (house) in Gualaceo. Here they make beautiful pottery, all by hand. Even the wheel for throwing the pottery is foot powered, no electricity. The rocks are ground into a powder, then water is added. One man just beats and squeezes the mixture until he has the consistency that they want. Then it is given to the two men that do the throwing and actually make the various items. After they are done, a young man draws the designs by hand, just using a nail. Then they are put in the oven. This is not a gas fired kiln as in the States. It is an oven that is wood fired, and there is no top to it. Once the items to be fired are placed in the oven, they ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 23rd 2014

We went to the park in Gualaceo for lunch and to just relax for a little while. We arrived at the restaurant about 15 minutes before they opened for lunch, so we had some time to look around. What a simple little town. They were preparing for the Corpus Christi celebration. They would be voting on the Reina (queen) of the festival that afternoon. The one selected would be celebrated and later, in the evening, would have a candle lit ride down the river with everyone celebrating her coronation. We had a very nice lunch of chicken, rice, muenestra (beans), orange juice and a small cup of a fruity dessert. We went back out to the park just in time to catch the end of the high school band going through. There was a very long ... read more
IMG_0076 - Debi with our tour guide Jessyca
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 23rd 2014

When we left the park, we drove higher into the mountains to a small town which I did not get the name of. In the pictures you can see the clouds lowering. We thought we would get some rain, but it actually started warming up. We stopped at a very small home and in the front of the house sat a woman making a hat. She starts working about 6 am and ends about 8 pm. By that time she should have a hat made. Her husband was working bringing more straw to her. The straw has to be wet in order for her to weave it. There was another woman sitting on the curb outside the fence surrounding the front of the house also weaving a hat. Once the hats are completed she sells them ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 22nd 2014

We had a great tour today. We went to so many places and I took so many pictures that I am going to break it up by the places we went to. First of all, we went to La Casa de la Makana in Gualaceo. The following is taken from their brochure: "The most representative artisan workshop is owned by Senor Jose Jimenez. This rustic house where the sun shines in with difficulty resembles a museum where the years have stopped on the technique, ability, ancestral tools and on the works of art. This art has to do with a woolen cloth called "Macana" used by women of the Sierra and that serves as a protection from the cold. Due to its beauty and elegence, it is in great demand by visitors who come from the ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » East » Nueva Loja June 17th 2014

Today, instead of talking about my journey in Ecuador, I would talk to you about a topic, which touched me, while visiting the North of the country. What do you think about when we hear Amazonia ? Mostly, we will relate this word to tropical forest, rivers, crocodiles, tropical birds, amazing fauna and flora in general. Well, I could notice how, in Equador, all this is in danger. Why ? Because of the oil industry! When you drive from Quito to Lago Agrio, you can quily realize this fact. You will indeed see very quickly the pipelines along the road, like bridges over the rivers, but also crossing some people’s yards and the forest. It was the first pipelines, I was seeing in my life and to see them, so close to the Amazonian forest was ... read more
Station in the middle of the forest...
"We go forward"...

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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito June 16th 2014

We had one final perk from the cruise line in that they had arranged a bus to the airport. We dozed in the seats but were woken by our cruise guide pointing out some spectacular views of the volcanoes, including the snow-capped Cotopaxi which comes as close to the classical cone shape as anything we’ve seen. It was still visible from the sidewalk outside the airport and Sonia stopped to snap a few photos before we checked in for our flight. We had a few light snacks at the airport, boarded a two hour flight to Lima, Peru and then transferred to a second, one-hour flight to Cusco. Cusco is at 11,200 feet above sea level, meaning that they actually must need to DE-pressurize the airplane as it lands (cabin pressure is usually somewhere around the ... read more
La Compania
John with Cathedral of Santo Domingo in background
Cusco skyline at dusk

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 16th 2014

Well, this was a day the Lord truly blessed. Our Ecuadorian grand daughter, Mandy, was dedicated to the Lord at Calvary Chapel Cuenca today. She is the first child to be dedicated in the English service. We were very blessed to have Braulio's mother, Maria, and his brother, Boris, join us for the dedication. Afterwards we all went to Joy and Simon's home for a potluck luncheon. Not a lot to say, but a lot of pictures.... read more
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South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López June 16th 2014

My last week working at Hosteria Mandala was much more relaxing – Chantal returned from Switzerland and then Maja got back from vacation. I had my mornings free again. Since the tides shift 20-40 minutes later each day, I checked daily charts to plan the best time for dog-walking on the beach. A few times the ideal moment came before 7:00 am so, since I was generally awake anyway, I’d set off for an early morning stroll. When it’s low tide at that hour the broad stretch of hard-packed sand is full of walkers and joggers. Fun to see so many folks from the village turn out to take advantage of nature’s free gym! The downside of a.m. beach walks is the profusion of pesky sand fleas – I guess they wake up ravenous. Even wearing ... read more
cone of shame
Is it suppertime yet??
Doggie Dinnertime!


With a tedious travel day ahead of us, we finished packing up our gear and headed down for our last breakfast on board. A final zodiac ride returned us to the pier where we first saw the ship and we were bid farewell by a sea lion lounging on a wooden bench. Several people (including Lauren and John) attempted to pose for photos on the bench, but it was made quite clear that he was not interested in sharing. We later learned that one of the children who disembarked after us, a boy a bit older than Andrew, had gotten too close and gotten a bite taken out of him! Fortunately they were able to patch him up sufficiently that he could catch his flight. A short bus ride took us back to the airport where ... read more
Back to where we started: Baltra Island
Long travel day


Our last full day in the Galapagos was tortoise day. We had slept quite well on the boat for the first part of the week, but less so on Friday night with large swells rocking the boat where we were anchored in academy bay. Our outing was a single long excursion, with lunch on shore. We took the zodiac into Porto Ayora, the largest settlement in the Galapagos with approximately 16,000 people. We visited the Charles Darwin Station, a large research institution that advises the National Park Service. We mostly learned about the giant tortoises and the breeding program that the Darwin Foundation operates. The tortoises differ from one island to another and they are most actively trying to restore tortoise populations on islands decimated by humans (mostly during the 19th century when big ships would ... read more
Turtle faces
Yellow Warbler
Tortoise Breeding Program




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