Blogs from Ecuador, South America - page 8

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South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca May 14th 2014

Our friend Braulio has been going to school five nights a week to get his Professional Drivers License. On Tuesday the school had an open house at Parque de la Madre, so Debi, myself, Chanel and Mandy all took a bus into town (with me carrying a large stroller) to support him. Normally this is not an easy feat. The bus drivers usually try to pick people up and drop them off on the run. The bus we take only comes by about a block and a half from our house. It usually comes up the hill about 10 minutes before the hour and goes back down about 10 minutes after the hour. As we left our house at about 5 minutes before the hour, we were delayed a few minutes by our landlord, Don Julio ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Centre » Cotopaxi May 13th 2014

Tuesday 13th Our taxi arrives as we are having breakfast and quickly takes us to the other end of Santa Cruz and we hop on the little ferry that takes us across to Baltra and the airport. We arrive in plenty of time for the plane back to the main land. We get talking to an English couple and she turns out to be the sister in law of a woman I play tennis with ! Such a small world. We arrive in Guayaquil and get picked up by taxi and taken to our hostel. It's on the 7th floor of an apartment block and we have a small balcony which looks over the traffic jams ! Still the woman running it is nice and gives us loads of info. We decide to take a walk ... read more
Las Penas Guayaquil
Cuenca Cathedral
Cuenca market

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos May 5th 2014

The first leg of our trip took us to Quito, Ecuador. From one of the highest vantage points of the city, we could see the homes of the city expand out for miles. No high rises in this city. After touring the city and seeing the Cathedral, San Francisco Plaza Church, we joined our group and enjoyed a delightful hot chocolate in the main square while listing to a native flute player. Although our trip to Quito was only a day, we met delightful people and enjoyed the first day. The next morning we started our trip to the Galapagos Islands by flying from Quito to the Island of Baltra where we boarded a water taxi to take us to the Island of Santa Cruz. As we traveled to our hotel, the highly rated Finch Bay ... read more
Land iguanas
Frigate Birds
Blue-footed Boobies

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil May 3rd 2014

Sorry there haven't been any blogs for a while. We took a trip back to the States to get our taxes done, go through everything we left at our son Joe's house and of course visit as many friends as we could. It all started with a three and a half hour "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" through the Cajas National Park to get to Guayaquil for our flight to Miami. We were in a van with four other travelers and the driver. He makes this trip twice a day, so he doesn't waste any time. Cuenca sits at 8,500 feet elevation in the Andes Mountains and Guayaquil is at sea level, but you have to go up to 13,000 feet in the park before you descend down to the coast. We left at five PM, so ... read more
Waiting for our flight
Coming into Nashville

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca May 3rd 2014

One of the ministries that some of the people from our church participate in is called the Feria Libre (Free Fair) Market Potato Aisle Ministry. I know it's a long name, but it just describes where the ministry is held. The Feria Libre is what most in the US would think of as a very large Flea Market. But it's not just what people have taken out of their garage to get rid of. These are people that actually make a living by selling whatever it is they have. And they have just about anything you can think of - clothing, food, animals, etc. The busiest day is on Wednesday when even the parking lot is set up with booths for vendors. Daily they have booths set up inside a large building which include actual stores ... read more
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This morning we crossed the equator to the Northern Hemisphere. We arrived at Genovesa Island and anchored in Darwin Bay, a huge submerged caldera of a dormant volcano. Genovesa is the island of the birds, one million of them, red-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls, storm petrels, Nazca boobies and short eared owls. We sighted all species, an overwhelming seabird experience. This is mating season for the boobies and the frigates. The male frigates have a giant pouch that inflates upon their chest. They will sit waiting with the pouch inflated, fasting, for up to 10 days to attract a female. We observed these large birds, with a wing span of about 8 feet in the midst of their courting ceremony. In some cases a group of 5 or 6 juvenile males gather together as ... read more
Frigate Male
Prince Philip's Steps


Wednesday 1st We leave our hostel in plenty of time to catch the blue bus back to the airport. As we reach the main street we find that there's no traffic at all and the streets are all cordoned off and there's armed police in full riot gear everywhere ! The busses aren't going to run from the normal place and when we ask some locals they don't know where the busses will be. We walk about a mile through check points, with police all around us and armoured cars parked in the side streets. It's 1st May and a public holiday and they're expecting riots ! We can't find the bus so walk back to the hostel for a taxi. The only problem being we don't have enough currency and the ATM's are all boarded ... read more
Quito 2
Encantada
Marine Iguana Santa Cruz

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos May 1st 2014

Another early wake-up call, cleverly disguised as a “weather report”, 6:00 a.m. Our first outing of the day was a zodiac ride with a dry landing to the base of Bartolome Island. It is well advised to begin at this early hour, we are now just 16 miles from the equator and the sun heats the black lava rock very quickly, not to mention this excursion was a hike up 316 feet (378 stairs) to the top of the volcano. I consider this elementary practice for Machu Picchu. The view from the top of the rock was fabulous and you could see an underwater caldera that could be a miniature of the “Blue Hole” in Belize. We went back to the ship for breakfast and then a trip to the beach for swimming and snorkeling. As ... read more
Muscle Woman
At the Top
From the Top

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos April 30th 2014

Santa Cruz Island is the second largest island in the archipelago and the port town of Puerto Ayora is home to 18,000 Galapaguenos. It is bustling place that has several very interesting art galleries featuring among traditional art, hand woven water tight vessels ranging in size from a 1/3 cup to 1 gallon capacity, beautiful weavings made of vibrantly colored alpaca wool which from a distance appear to be oil paintings and whimsical sculptures. As in any other tourist town the typical “souvenirs” are found all along the main street, just about 1.5 miles long. The main attraction of this island is the Giant Tortoises and the Charles Darwin Research Station which was our first stop of the day. We were lucky(?) enough to see two of these giant creatures mating, an act that can last ... read more
Fermenting Moonshint
The Still
Lava Tube

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve April 30th 2014

Hola! I decided to take a trip to the jungle as I wanted to see lots of animals as I din´t see that many in Costa Rica. Getting there, I took the night bus to Lago Agrio. I had my small bag strapped to me all night as I had heard of so many people getting their bags nicked! Thankfully, it still remained attached to me when I woke up! I then had to wait in a hotel, along with other travellers, for my pick up to my jungle lodge. Everyone that I met were staying at different lodges and one by one they disappeared...I was the only one left! I was dreading that my lodge had forgotten about me so walked outside and found another girl, Laura, with the same lodge sign as me! Hooray, ... read more
Our huts
Having fun with the flowers
One of many pelicans!




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