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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island June 17th 2019

Another early morning and a day packed with adventure. Kirsten as always sets an alarm on her phone and we were set to get up at 6:30. This was not a shower day for Chester, so 30 minutes is all that is needed to get ready. Except, the alarm did not go off this morning, and Kirsten woke up at 6:40. No matter, we were both ready by 7 and had 15 minutes for breakfast before our first pick-up. Today we were hiking an active volcano. The hike was 16 KM, which is about 10 miles. We had all our gear: hiking boots, rain jackets, water, sunglasses. Thankfully, there were only 8 of us on the hike with our guide. Everyone was young and fit, except of course the two of us. We get shuttled every ... read more
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Today was the day Kirsten has been most looking forward to and Chester has been dreading. Diving day!!! Kirsten loves to dive and Chester tolerates it in exchange of making Kirsten go to a soccer game when we get home. The day started like most others with breakfast, and then we headed to the dive shop. The dive company was very efficient and organized which is not always the case in some countries. We met our other diver partners and good news there was only 6 of us diving. Large group diving is not fun. We started with introductions and an overview in the office. Then as it seems with everything here, we loaded into trucks and drove 45 min to the dock. This is the same dock we were at yesterday and the same we ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island June 15th 2019

Kirsten was complaining that we are do not get to sleep in at all on our trip. Today we were able to set the alarm for 7 am! For us, that was sleeping in. Chester was in bed last night early with her ear all jacked up, and Kirsten stayed up watching horrible television. We both still got plenty of sleep and were up and ready to go! Today was a travel day to another island after our morning excursion. That meant we needed to pack up everything before we left. Packing up everything didn’t mean the little lizard that was crawling around in Kristen’s suitcase before she finished packing. We definitely have some little creatures in our bags that are probably coming home with us. Jorge, our guide, picked us up at 8:30 for a ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Puerto Ayora June 13th 2019

Our day started off early with lots of travel ahead of us. We were up, ready and fed by 6:50 when Ramiro picked us up and took us to the airport. Traffic was pretty brutal but we made good time. And just like in the states, by the time we got to our gate, the flight was delayed. It wasn’t as bad as when we left Houston, only an hour late. We flew from Quito into Santa Cruz Island which is the most populated island We deplaned and made our way through their customs and had to pay $100 each to get into the Galapagos. It was fast and painless. Waiting for our luggage wasn’t as bad as it could have been either, plus we had great entertainment. Some dude had on quite the disarray of ... read more
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Waking up in paradise is always an eventful morning. We were up and ready to go by our 7:30 pick-up time for a day of snorkeling and hiking. As it always happens to us when we are in a big tour, we were the first ones picked up by the bus, with many stops after picking up 10 other people. The last group to get picked up were at least 15 minutes late to board the bus, and then when they finally showed up they were four hot, skinny bitches and one old lady. It just gave us more reason to hate the last group. At least in the Galapagos, we were able to limit our excursions to a smaller group of under 16 people We are too old and just can’t handle the large group ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » North June 11th 2019

After a very late night arrival and adjusting our start time for the morning, we woke up to people talking in the hallway. Boutique in Spanish must mean "paper thin walls." The hotel, however, is old and really cute. We started with a colorful breakfast with some great local fruits, eggs and bread since he didn't get any dinner the night before. We met our guide Ramiro promptly at 10 AM to start our city tour. The weather did cooperate for the most part. It was low 60's and a bit overcast when we started but the sun did come out later in the afternoon. Our hotel was a few short blocks from the historic city center. The city center was bustling with tourists, locals and lots of police. Ramiro informed us that the city was ... read more
Galapagos Gargoyles
Amazon Gargoyles
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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center June 10th 2019

Another year and another trip for Kirsten and Chester, but with everything going on in our lives, we decided to stay in the western hemisphere and keep the trip a bit shorter than our normal vacations. Also because we couldn’t find more than 8 straight days with no one visiting us in Denver. With that being said, this did not mean we couldn’t check-off another bucket list item. We are heading to Galapagos Islands off Ecuador for 8 days. Our usual decision on destinations was a bit rushed and this was a bit of a last-minute selection, simply because we are running out of places Kirsten or Chester haven’t been. But this is one of those places neither one has visited. The days leading up to the trip were a bit hectic. Kirsten had to travel ... read more
Hotel Courtyard

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos April 27th 2019

Galapagos has no Wifi and very limited cell service so this blog is being posted from Quito. The Seaman Journey catamaran was our floating hotel for the past week as we navigated our way with 14 other passengers around the Galapagos archipelago. Days were filled with hiking and dingy tours along the coast to see the marine iguanas,seals, and ,of course, the famous blue footed boobies. Snorkelling with sea turtles, penguins, and hundreds of colourful fish. Sandy was wide eyed when a White tipped shark came within touching distance. Frigate birds follow the catamaran. The adventure of a lifetime!... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba April 1st 2019

Hello Blog Readers - thanks for being here! Some of you have been following my blog since I first began in 2006. Thanks, Madge, for insisting that I keep folks in the loop of my life in Ecuador. Here I am, twelve and a half years later with 145 published entries. I'm still at it...and you're still reading! To explain the title of this entry I need to tell you that the past month's activities and travels were overlaid on a backdrop of recovery from cataract surgery. There were complications and it's been a journey. My experiences during recuperation had me looking at the semantic and more esoteric connotations of the words SIGHT and VISION. Allow me to start by saying that, for my part, I am eternally grateful to the visionaries who had the foresight ... read more
Jessica and family
Exploring New Roads
My Sleeping Quarters

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center March 20th 2019

It’s finally here, the last day of our trip. We don’t leave for the airport until 3 pm, so this morning we are visiting the Palacio de Gobierno, which I have finally managed to obtain tickets for. The tour is free but needs to be reserved by email (in Spanish) so I’m quite proud of my achievement. Time to pack one last time. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve packed and unpacked. It’s strange to think that next time I unpack it’ll be in my own bedroom, closely supervised by my cats. First, a weirdly disjointed breakfast; scrambled egg, a cheese toastie, an empanada, onion chutney, butter and jam. What are we supposed to do with the butter and jam? Dip the empanada in it? Spread it on the cheese toastie? Or maybe mix ... read more
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Palacio de Gobierno
Guayasamin mural




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