Blogs from Baños, Centre, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 16th 2019

A hectic few weeks gearing up for the Grand Re-Inauguration of the BIB, the volunteer children’s library where I’ve been helping out for over 10 years. In an effort to better utilize the facilities, we re-opened as the Centro Cultural Arte del Mundo (Art of the World Cultural Center) hosting more movies and theatre and offering more classes and workshops, in addition to the children’s library program (Biblioteca Interactiva de Baños) and the Secondhand Shop (BIB Bazar) that I run as a fundraiser. I spent quite a few days walking all over town asking restaurants to donate trays of food for our opening day celebration and hitting up business owners for prizes for our big raffle. I hadn’t realized how many people I’ve come to know fairly well over the years. Every single person I approached ... read more
Grand ReOpening!
Raffle Fun!!
Spanish Conversation Class

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños February 15th 2019

Fair warning...this will be a blog entry of many photos and not so many words. I'm trying to get it written and published before the next big event in my life...the arrival of my niece Tovah and her boyfriend Max in Ecuador. I'm so excited to show them around, but I need to sew up this chapter before starting on the next. It's been over two months since I got back home, and more than a little challenging to rediscover my peaceful rhythm of life. As my plane circled over the green green Andes, my heart soared to be returning home. If you read my last two blogs about my loooonnngg visit in the US (over two months!) you'll understand a bit how exhilarated I felt to touch down again in my beloved Ecuador. In the ... read more
Garage Sale Buddies
December Birthdays
A visit from an old friend

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños September 12th 2018

As always, my low-key semi-retired life ends up getting more busy than I expect! In the past two months I've received several visitors (back-to-back visits from two of my closest Ecuadorian friends!). I've driven back and forth to Quito half a dozen times (helping my friend Shana renew her passport and visa, picking up donations, transporting friends' family members to and from the airport and driving the volunteers from Engineers Without Borders). On one of my airport runs we stayed the night in a hostel near the airport and then I drove my friend's brother to the terminal at 4:30 am for his early international flight. I had donations to collect but couldn't arrive before 7:30 am -- just my luck, my good friend Betti who lives 2 hrs north of Quito was staying at Hotel ... read more
Daybreak from Hotel Quito
Spring Rolls
My Ugly Old Sink

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños July 12th 2018

In the six weeks since I published my last blog entry I've been a travelling fool! I've had several paid driving gigs a couple of trips taking friends around. Although Ecuador is a small country, when it comes to crossing the Andes a 300 mile journey can take a full day! I´ve been over to the coast twice, down to the edge of the Amazon Basin twice, and up to Quito and back a few times. First CiCi and I took a trip down to the coast with my rentor, Mark and his two dogs, Sally and Paco. We had arranged for this excursion even before he moved in. Mark has some friends from when he lived in Cuenca who rent a place in Montañita for a month each year and friends and relatives come to ... read more
paco n mark
Freddy and Family
Raw Wool

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 20th 2018

After finishing the Quilotoa loop, I went from Quilotoa to Latacunga and from there to Baños. The bus ride from Quilotoa to Latacunga is about 2 hours (2$) and it’s 3 hours (4$) from Latacunga to Baños (you have to change buses in Ambato). In the first bus, I met Shane from Australia. I had seen him earlier in my hostel in Isinlivi and a few times during the hike, but we had never really talked before. He’s a very nice guy (around his 40s or 50s I guess) and he has been to almost every country in the world, except for South America. He was also going to Baños, even to the same hostel as me, so we decided to travel together. In Latacunga we went to pick up our luggage and on the way ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños June 20th 2018

Nachdem ich den Quilotoa loop beendet hatte, bin ich von Quilotoa nach Latacunga gefahren und von dort aus nach Baños. Die Busfahrt von Quilotoa nach Latacunga dauert ungefähr 2 Stunden (2$) und von dort aus sind es nochmal 3 Stunden (4$) nach Baños (mit einem Buswechsel in Ambato). Im ersten Bus habe ich Shane aus Australien kennengelernt. Ich hatte ihn bereits vorher in meinem Hostel in Isinlivi und ein paar Mal unterwegs gesehen, aber wir haben nie wirklich mit einander gesprochen. Er ist ein sehr netter Mann (um die 40 oder 50 denke ich) und er war schon in fast jedem Land der Welt außer in Südamerika. Er fuhr auch nach Baños, hatte sogar dasselbe Hostel gebucht wie ich, und so entschieden wir zusammen zu reisen. In Latacunga haben wir jeder unser Gepäck abgeholt und haben ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños May 15th 2018

Baños (11/05/2018 - 15/05/2018) Thank you Amy for letting me be a guest writer for your blog. In case anyone was wondering, Amy and I met on the Quiltoa Loop (it was amazing - you can read about it here) - I’m the one stupid enough (or smart enough depending on how you choose to look at it - I did complete the hike afterall) wearing a bin bag in lieu of the recommended ‘high quality rain gear.’ Anyway, after completing the Loop, we both decided to head a couple of hours south to Baňos; a small city known for its plethora of adventure sports, which is what I am going to be talking to you about. Steam Box Bath: Thinking Outside the Box In our hostel we spotted a sign advertising ‘steam box baths’ along ... read more
Ice Cold!
Swing at the End of the World
Tree house :)

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños April 20th 2018

As I dive into this March and April blog entry, let me start by saying "It feels so wonderful to be fully healthy again!!" A full month of challenges to heal after the stubborn kidney stone was removed from my body. I was supposed to need an internal catheter for just 2 weeks, but during the 2nd week a blood clot formed and I finally understood the extreme pain that everyone kept talking about. Sharp, severe pains began about 9:30 pm. I took a hot shower, then a cold one but by midnight the agony was so intense that I called Jean (who had driven down from Quito with me in case I needed help) and asked her to drive me to the hospital. I spent about 2 hours in the emergency room with IV painkillers, ... read more
CiCi says HI!
Long Drive to Cuenca
Liven up the Party

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños September 9th 2017

So I've had the photos for this blog entry uploaded for weeks but I have't had the time (or inclination) to sit down and finally write and publish it. Right now I'm at a hotel beside Quito airport. Every time a plane flies over I think it's the volcano rumbling! I am here to meet four volunteers from Engineers Without Borders whose flight arrives at midnight. I've spent too many hours waiting to pick folks up in the middle of the night, so this time I decided to have the hotel pick them up and I'll spend a few hours writing and go to bed early(ish). Tomorrow I'll drive them up to the village of Malingua Pamba where they are working on an irrigation project. Now that I'm not at home, maybe I can get a ... read more
Bye Bye Rental House
I Will Miss You!
Pre-Moving Load-Out

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños March 20th 2017

A break from my typical dashing-around lifestyle -- it’s been really wonderful to be able to just hold still for a while. For more than 2 months I’ve stayed put, not driving more than the 3 miles from my house to town, 2 miles to the thermal mineral baths or to the next village to meet with one of my English students. I stayed over house-sitting at Carol & Kirk's gorgeous home (a mile from mine). CiCi came with me, joining their two dogs and two cats. When we returned home after 10 days I think she was happy to be an “only pet” again. Although these past months have not been filled with new places, they have been rich with pets & people - time with many friends both old and new. I often took ... read more
View of my Nieghborhood
El Salado Mineral Baths
BIB theatre

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