Page 2 of JohnBroomhall Travel Blog Posts

Central America Caribbean September 21st 2009

First off, some admistrivia: I find the largest amount of time creating these blogs is organizing and uploading the photos. I have been posting all my pictures to Flickr , so I will discontinue posting pics here and direct you to Flickr to see them. I have arranged Flickr into an overall trip, with sub-folders with specific geographic areas. When you get to my Flickr site, click on the tile of photos on the right side of the screen "Canada to Agentina by Motorcycle", then drill down from there. Again, my Flickr site.. I left off my last blog as we reunited with the coast at Playa Azul. We had descended from the int... read more

North America » Mexico September 13th 2009

Parral was just a positioning day for us, after the Copper Canyon, our next goal was to visit some of the colonial cities. We left Parral on September 2nd southbound. The land to the south was what I would call altoplano, or high plains. The land was high, relatively flat, and mostly open rangeland. It reminded me of the foothill areas in southwestern Alberta. Cowboy country, and indeed we are seeing lots of ranches and all the men are in cowboy hats. There was a range of mountains far off on the west, and the road paralleled them as we traveled south. As a prairie boy, I also felt at home in seeing a straight road, disappearing on the horizon. My expectation for Mexico was more along the lines of the dry and desert areas we ... read more
Flood in Juan Aldama

North America » Mexico August 31st 2009

We finished off our exploration of the Baja in Santa Rosalia, where we would catch the ferry over to Guaymas on the mainland. we picked what was probably the nicest hotel in town, el Hotel del Morro. it was just south of town on a cliff overlooking the ocean. all the rooms had a private patio overlooking the ocean, and secured by iron bars to keep out thieves I guess. We discovered that it also keeps guests in... The hotel had a wireless internet connection, and I found that the signal was weak inside the room, but was usable on the patio. I sat down outside with my laptop and was uploading some pictures to Flickr when Bruce joined me. He closed the sliding door behind him as the air conditioning was on. A short time ... read more
Mulege oasis
Locked in in Santa Rosalia
Seaside bar in Mulege

North America » United States » California August 26th 2009

My friend Bruce and I left the Portland area on Monday morning, and went out to the number one highway on the Pacific Coast. It was out plan to ride the coastal highway for most of our trip south. It made sense to us to avoid the interstate highways and enjoy the journey a little more. Besides, the coastal roads would be the kind of roads that motorcycle enthusiasts like - lots of scenery, and lots of twisty sections. We weren't disappointed. The only thing that did get in the way was fog and cloud, which we did see a fair amount of. Despite taking the slower roads, our plan was to get to San Diego relatively quickly. Bruce had booked motorcycle maintenance appointments for Friday, which gave us 4 days to get there. We decided ... read more
Baja California
California Coast
California Coast

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 17th 2009

I've been on the road for three weeks now, I guess it is about time I posted a blog. Up until I left Canada last Thursday, the trip didn't seem worthy of a blog entry - I was in very familiar territory and didn't really have much to say. Perhaps I will start off with a recap of what got me to this point. The idea for this trip had its origins some time in the fall of 2006. My wife Joan had been diagnosed with a recurrence of her ovarian cancer in August, and it wasn't looking good. The doctors danced around the reality of the situation: that the first round of chemo was basically ineffective. Nobody said it was just a matter of time, but the way they talked - words like “secondary treatment”, ... read more
Oregon Coast
Vancouver Acquarium
Chuckanut Drive, Washington

South America » Ecuador » West » Canoa March 11th 2009

On March 1 I left Ibarra after my last weekend of flying with the Club de Planeadores in Ibarra, I returned to Quito with my friends the Davalos'. I stayed in Quito for two nights, then caught a 30 minute flight to Manta on the coast. I arrived in Manta about 7 PM. From the Manta airport I had a 90 minute taxi ride to Bahia Caraquez, then a short taxi boat ride across the bay to San Vicente, and then a short taxi ride to the condo where my friend John Brock lives. I arrived at John's place shortly after 9 PM. The taxi ride from Manta was a shaky affair. The road wasn't in the best shape, with lots of potholes, and it was night. The driver was constantly cranking the wheel and hitting ... read more
Beach at Canoa
Waiting for the Panga
Panga ride across Bahia Caraquez

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra March 2nd 2009

He conocido muchas personas amistoso en Ecuador, y quiero rendir homenaje a ellos con este blog. Juan Guerrero, mi profesor de Espanol en Otavalo: Juan es un profesor con mucha paciencia, y reconoce con facilidad las necesidades de sus estudiantes. El reconoció que había problemas, y su enseñanza ajustada a darme más práctica. Juan también tiene un gran sentido del humor y me gusta pasar tiempo con él. La familia Davalos: Cuando me puse en contacto con el Club de Planeadores Ecuador, Remy Dávalos me llamó a mí se inició con el club. Remy y su familia me adoptó y se aseguró que estaba bien cuidado, que me recogió de mi hotel todos los fines de semana, y me llevó al aeropuerto para volar. La esposa de Remy, Mónica, preparó muchas comidas por nosotros al aeropuerto. ... read more
Jose Luis and Edwin
Vivi and Alicia
BBQ al aeropuerto

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo February 17th 2009

If you read down my blog, you would have seen that I attended a Spanish language school in Cuenca Ecuador last year (2008). I continued my lessons this year at the Otavalo Spanish Institute (OSI) in, well, Otavalo. Choosing the school was not done with much investigation on my part, my goal was to find a school close to Ibarra where I wanted to fly gliders (see my “Gliding in Ecuador” blogs). My internet search did not find any schools in Ibarra, so I settled on Otavalo, which is about 15 kilometers down the road. I should add that there are schools in Ibarra, it is just that they don't have an internet presence (driving around Ibarra, I saw one with an interesting name “Center Canadiense de Idiomas”). My internet search for Otavalo came up with ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo February 3rd 2009

This blog is just a mix of thoughts that I have compiled while staying here. Just some small observations about life here and in Ecuador in general. Perhaps it is representative of life in general outside of Canada, I don't know, I really don't have a lot of world experience to draw upon. Dogs. My hat goes off to the dog food manufacturers in North America, they must be making billions. I see the advertisements on TV all the time. I don't know anyone at home who doesn't feed their pet dog some kind of special mix dog food based on some thoughtful, (but probably based on advice from the manufacturers) analysis of their dog's needs. Here in Otavalo, there are dogs everywhere. Running free in the streets, in people's yards, in packs out in the ... read more
Hacienda Chorlavi near Ibarra
Hacienda Chorlavi
Davalos family at Chorlavi

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra January 22nd 2009

Remy Davalos and his family met me Saturday at a gas station beside the Pan-American Highway, about 3 blocks from where I am living in Otavalo. Remy is an active member of the “Club de Planeadores del Ecuador”, but is not a glider pilot himself. He is a pilot for Columbia Helicopters, and flies one of those big Chinook twin-rotor jobs doing mostly oilfield work. He and his wife have two sons, about 22 and 16. The older son, David, is a glider pilot and also holds a commercial power license. We drove from Otavalo to Ibarra, where the gliding club is based, in pouring rain. It didn't look good for that day. Ecuador is probably about the last place you'd ever think about going to fly gliders, and it was certainly with me. I picked ... read more
David Davalos and I in K7
Ibarra from the air
Glider hangar and tower at Ibarra Airport

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