Blogs from Baños, Centre, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 22nd 2021

Hello Friends! Fasten your seatbelts because this blog entry has a LOT going on!! I've tried to put the photos in some sort of order, but my life is kind of topsy-turvy right now and so is my brain!! My home is completely "patas arriba" (paws up) as they say in Español which affects my thinking and my daily routine, but I'll make it through. Keeping my eyes on the prize! I had the good fortune to participate in birthday celebrations with several different friends! Also, special visits from other friends. My social life is reactivating a bit...and it feels good. My seamstress friend, Zahra and I drove a half-hour down to just past Rio Verde where Melinda and her partner Franco have a sweet little hostel and campground called Pequeño Paraíso. Mel wants to update ... read more
Rami and Daphna in Baños
Ladies' Luncheon
Birthday Luxury

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños April 3rd 2021

Even during a pandemic I managed to enjoy my bday! The day before (which is always Valentine's Day) fell on a Sunday so I arranged for an outdoor luncheon with 10 friends. The best restaurant in Baños, Swiss Bistro, had just re-opened in their new location -- the gardens of a lovely hotel (Ali Samay) - centrally located but not well-known (they mostly work with tour groups). I wanted to help the owner (my dear friend Patrick) jump-start his new and improved dining experience by re-introducing our gringo group to this formerly favorite establishment. A couple of the attendees didn't feel comfortable dining at the same table with so many others, so we arranged for a separate table for them a few meters away from the group. It was a bright, sunny day as we gathered ... read more
Scary Caves!!
My Fave Family!
Fly Niton

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños February 7th 2021

Hola loyal blog readers! Let me begin this entry with a WARNING - the following includes a slightly graphic description of a medical procedure. If that kind of thing makes your stomach lurch, skip down to the 4th paragraph. (haha, now you're all curious and will surely read right from the start) In early December when I returned to Ecuador from the US, I planned to stay in Quito for a few days to deliver some of the things I'd brought for my friends and also to have a colonoscopy. (oh joy!) Since I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease 20 years ago, I'm supposed to have my colon scoped every three years...and I think it's been at least five since my last test (but who's counting?). I stayed with my 92 year old friend Margarita that ... read more
Up in the Clouds
Vibrant Hydrangeas
Baños from Above

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños November 13th 2020

November began with a delightful visit from dear friends, Nancy and Chuck. They are an older American couple who live in Cuenca and I got to know them well during my many visits to collect donations for the BIB Bazar secondhand shop. Always generous with their home, their time, their donations. Chuck went to pick up garage sale leftovers and stored them, helped me pack the truck up, and they've always opened their home to me. When Nancy was getting ready to redecorate their guest room, she asked me which fabrics she should consider for the curtains in "my room." Nancy and Chuck are avid travellers and take several long cruises each year. Quarantine hit them especially hard but once things began to open a bit they set off adventuring within Ecuador, getting to know the ... read more
I Survived the Hanging Bridge
At the Base of the Waterfall
Double Birthday Joy!

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños August 5th 2020

As we complete our fifth month of quarantine I find that I am more reflective...looking inward, focusing on details. During my daily walks up the hill with CiCi, I notice each new bloom and there are bazillions of wildflowers and fascinating plants. Awed by and grateful for the ever-evolving natural world around me. My little lemon tree is producing prodigiously (I once counted over 70 lemons!) and I closely observe each blossom (future lemons!). This crop of lemons is taking awhile to get fully yellow but they are huge and juicy, sweet and luscious. I only need to squeeze 3 lemons to make a pitcher of lemonade...no sugar required! I'm told that they are Meyer lemons, the best of the best according to the locals. It is a joy to be able to gift 6 or ... read more
Lemons, present and future
Snowy Summit
Grey & Cloudy

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños May 24th 2020

Quarantine, coming from the Italian word quaranta (40) is Cuarentena in Spanish cuarenta (40) but here in Ecuador we’ve been in isolation for twice that amount of time with daily 2 pm to 5 am curfews, permission to drive a vehicle only one day a week (based on the last number of the license plate), and requirement to wear a mask in public and disposable gloves in the grocery store. There are road blocks at either end of town and provincial borders are closed around the country, allowing only food supply vehicles to cross. As of this writing all domestic and international flights are grounded. Those arriving on humanitarian repatriation flights undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government approved hotel. My friends who just got back to Quito were not even given a key to ... read more
Daily Scrabble Joy!
After the rain...
The Healing Power of Nature

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños April 2nd 2020

Well, this blog entry begins with sharing joy and friendship and ends in the place where we all find ourselves, hunkering down in quarantine, sheltering with loved ones in our homes as we watch and hope and pray the global virus will pass over us and begin to dissipate worldwide. Here in Ecuador we started a government-enforced quarantine on March 16th and it has gotten steadily more restrictive. More than two weeks in and no cases of the virus in my town of Baños. The major road in and out of town has been blocked off. Foreigners who chose not to ride out the quarantine here have been repatriated to their home countries. The streets have all been sprayed down with water & chlorine. Nationwide the curfew is now 2:00 pm to 5:00 am with strictly ... read more
Ceiling Installation
Finished Ceiling
Bamboo Blinds

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños February 28th 2020

First things first, the food. I tend to remember people and places by the nosh I consumed at the time, so here’s some of my Ecuadorian experiences; We like to venture into the gastronomic unknown. Sometimes one gets a semblance of what a menu item contains or how it might taste. In the case of Humida there were many unknowns on both fronts so I gave it a go, mistakenly as it turned out. Humida is like the steamed jam rolypoly you might remember from school, but without the jam. It has the consistency of masonry filler and in my opinion should only be used for this. Almueza is a ubiquitous lunchtime bargain treat here. Locals tend to eat out at lunchtime rather than evening and almuerza is the lunch menu of the day. For the ... read more
One of the many meals made of maize...named by us, "Corn blob"
A happy snap ......just before "the incident"......

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños January 25th 2020

Today we spent the whole day in Baños, which was a really fun experience. After spending the last two weeks in one location, it was nice to take a break and have some freedom to explore a new environment. This morning, five of us hiked up a mountain 2000 ft. to overlook the city. It was definitely a bit more than we bargained for, and we ended up going nine miles by the end of the hike, but it was really fun to bond within our group and to hike in the jungle. In the afternoon, the entire class went on a bus tour of various waterfalls and we hiked down to one waterfall called ‘El Diablo.’ I’ve hiked to several large waterfalls in my life, and just like all the others, this one was unique ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 31st 2019

Heute blieb Jan zuhause, währen Mathis, Margit und Ich einen Fahrradausflug machten. Wir mieteten in der Stadt 3 Fahrräder und fuhren dann an der Straße entlang in Richtung des großen Wasserfalls, an dem ich auch gestern schon gewesen war. Unterwegs fielen uns viele Gruppen von (vor allem Jungen) Leuten auf, die sich als Frauen oder als andere, oft gruselige Kreaturen verkleidet auf die Straße stellte, den Verkehr aufhielten und tanzten, vermutlich war das ein Silvesterbrauch. Bei einer Gruppe fuhr Margit auf die andere Straßenseite, weil sie dachte Sie würden sich ihr in den Weg stellen, und musste dann ihr Fahrrad über einen Grünstreifen auf ihre Straßenseite zurücktragen. Wir aßen unterwegs in einem kleinen Lokal Mittag, gegenüber war eine Orangenfarm. Nach dem Essen ging Margit sich kurz die Orangenfarm anschauen und kam gleich mit einem Sack voller ... read more
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