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Published: June 16th 2017
Geo: -1.47201, -78.327
One of the greatest things about this is the people we meet. They have a certain something about them. It's more than a curiosity--it's like a drive to actually see and taste for themselves what's out here.
Sometimes they're searching for something inside themselves. But because we live in such a wonderful country, most of us are content to be safe in our comfortable, predictable lifestyle. It's just so........comfy.
Extensive travel is difficult. It's uncomfortable. Your curiosity has to overcome the pain. After a week in cold clammy Quito-- which has no heating whatsoever-- we'll never look at our thermostat at home the same way again.
Just this week we met two young attorneys from Chicago who up and quit their jobs to explore from Mexico to Ushuaia, Argentina for 6 months. They'll go home different people--it can't be helped. We had such a great time with them at the Travellers Inn, they abandoned their plans for the jungle and headed for Freddy and the chicos in Puerto Lopez and afterwards, the Mandala (see the story 1+1=80).
And Steve and Laura --they have such a great story. Married only a short time, they're at the Mandala for
a month of beach time, as they call it. Steve used to own five retail stores and then for fun bought a bar so he could eat, drink and relax. Ha. When his doctor told him he had cancer he saw his life ending. He had to make a choice: the medical route or the holistic approach. He chose the latter and I'm not saying yay or nay, but he's cancer free right now. He sold everything and has become a healer himself, traveling to Turkey to study the healing properties of flowers, and spending a month on Mt. Sinai seeking spiritual enlightenment. He and Laura are delightful. We spent some time together at the Mandala and totally enjoyed their company.
Probably the one we've gotten to know the best is Ensook, a French teacher from South Korea here studying Spanish who so graciously insisted we stay with her while we were in Quito--but more on that in a separate entry.
And Ligia who holds a Dr. degree in Psychology and manages the language school with 5 or 6 locations, heads a volunteer organization for children with cancer and still finds time to take Ensook, Bob & I on a
tour of Quito's historical district yesterday. She is one fun woman.
We are humbled by the accomplishments of the people we've met. Pat and Nancy, another retired couple, rented a Volkswagon last year and camped their way across Europe for 3 months--we love that idea and think we ought to try it ourselves. We met them at a hostel in Quito before they headed to the Galapagos for two weeks.
Just this afternoon we had tea with Helen from England who with her husband is circumnavigating the globe--they've been out 19 months now finding their way from Mongolia to Alaska, and down through Canada into Montana (passing just miles from where we live) and eventually to Ecuador, where they're pausing for a month to catch their breath before continuing on to southern Chile. Kari--they DROVE across Siberia to Vladivostok where they shipped their car to Seattle. Those words just drive chills through me.
What makes people do this? I asked her and she says, we're getting older (they're 50-ish) and it was the right time before our bodies give out on us and we're not able to.
They're paseo amigos--friends you meet along the way, but sadly will probably
Beautiful hotel--but where's the entrance???
We walked all the way around this thing trying to find the way in and were later told it was through what looks like a jewelry store. Weird.
never see again.
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