Blogs from Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 10th 2019

Our first real foray into South America begins in Quito. We have a very comfortable, inexpensive Airbnb here for 6 weeks. As we did in Malaga last year, we plan to use Quito as our home base to take side trips to various sights in Equator. Next up, Galapagos Islands.... read more
Surprise welcome
Quito digs
Venezuelans

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca January 1st 2019

We decided to make an effort for Christmas this year, so have rented a nice, modern apartment in Cuenca for a month. This is the city that we hope to move to later this year, so we have been enjoying exploring the different neighbourhoods and experiencing some traditional Ecuadorian Christmas and New Year celebrations. For the first week in Cuenca we stayed in Tortuga at an overlander campground - well, driveway - run by a very welcoming Ecuadorian family. It's a tiny little place and can squeeze in about 4 small vehicles at a push, but Miryam and Richard were so kind and friendly that we felt at home right away, and I especially enjoyed befriending their sweet 9-year old daughter Romina. We were also able to meet up with our friends Jen and Kyle, the ... read more
Christmas Eve parade
Cute kids with a basket of roasted guinea pigs!
Free chicha!

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil December 4th 2018

Original plan of meeting Nadia at 09:00 was changed to 10:00 as Nadia thought Daisy would like a little more time to rest and she was correct. This gave me a bit of time to catch up on the travel blog as well. At 10:00 Nadia drove us to the Guayaquil Historical Park, which was the main attraction I planned to see but unfortunately when we got there, we were told the park was closed just for that day for maintenance, so that was a bit of bad luck as I originally planned to go there the day before but as it closed at 16:30 we didn’t think we had enough time. You win some, you lose some. Instead Nadia drove us to an interesting commercial development which has offices but also lots of cafes and ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil December 3rd 2018

Up earlier than usual at about 04:35 as the boat had re-started on it’s way presumably to Daphne Major for a scheduled last activity circumnavigating the volcano island. I couldn’t get back to sleep but we both got up at the scheduled time of 05:45 to go to the top of the Nemo I to watch the birds. At 07:00 was the usual breakfast before last minute packing to have our bags ready by 08:00 for the transfer to shore. We bid farewell to Christof and Nicole, Florian and Miriam who were staying on the islands a bit longer and the rest of us hopped on the airport bus. We had a fair bit time to kill so we all did some last minute gift shopping before boarding our 10:08 flight. We were the only ones ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santiago Island December 2nd 2018

As we had gone to bed very early we both woke up early and had showers before the usual 07:00 breakfast. We were now at Puerto Egas, Santiago Island. Daisy was feeling better but not good enough to be able to jump off the zodiac for the wet-landing, so instead, the Captain offered to take her on a personal zodiac ride around the island. The walk was onto black sand and a sea lion was resting on the rocks. We walked along the coast and saw iguanas, lizards and most all lots of baby sea lions who were really cute. When we got to a cool blow hole, Rob was looking down when his sunglasses fell off, then his cap followed. We could see the cap floating around so Fabian allowed him to jump in but ... read more
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South America » Ecuador December 1st 2018

Overnight we had smoothly navigated to Punta Espinoza, another dry-landing spot on Fernandina Island which is just next to Isabela Island. This location was the land of a thousand iguanas, plus we saw many playful sea lions as well. It was an amazing sight to see so many iguanas all huddled together on various rocks near the shore. After returning to the boat there was a snorkeling session near the rocky shore and the conditions were challenging. Unfortunately, Daisy ran into trouble when she got caught in a reef with waves crashing in. Fabian had warned everyone to get out but Daisy didn’t manage to get out in time and was thrown around onto the rocks and injured her thigh quite badly and cut her foot. Luckily, Florian and Rob saw her and managed to pull ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island November 30th 2018

Another calm, smooth overnight navigation had us at Moreno Point on Isabela island. I should mention how we get off the boats with the dry-landings. Fabian and Christian who did a lot of the zodiac driving would jump off first and then Fabian would always say “one by one, side by side” which we would all repeat and they would grab your arm and you would grab theirs and they pulled you up. This was a dry-landing onto a massive black lava flow which had big cracks that created mini-canyons. Some parts were quite smooth and looked like highways with big cracks in them. The various shapes were fascinating. After walking over the lava flow for a while we then came across some lakes with beautiful flamingoes which were quite a contrast to the harsh black ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island November 29th 2018

Having already arrived in Santa Cruz, it was a very calm night on the boat, but some of us stayed up a bit too late so nearly everyone was quite tired. After the usual 07:00 breakfast we left for our dry-landing onto Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz which is on the opposite of the island from where we landed by plane on Monday. Today was our Giant Tortoise day, but our first stop after being bundled into a mini-bus, was to walk around a couple of old volcanic craters within Galapagos National Park where Fabian explained some details of the flora. As we drove up from the port Fabian told us to look out for tortoises as they make their way up from the lowlands to the highlands.. After the crater walk we were driven to a ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba November 28th 2018

One whole year in Tortuga...it hardly seems possible! Admittedly we have only travelled through 4 countries during this whole year, and one of those was the US, but that's not the point! Moving so slowly has allowed us to get to know certain places really well, and evaluate their livability potential, instead of having to rush through them to stay on a faster and more distance-consuming schedule. When we left Colorado last November we really didn't know what to expect. Would we survive Mexico, despite all the frightening security warnings? (absolutely!) How would it feel driving a relatively large vehicle through a bunch of developing countries? (ask Ken!) Would we really go through the hassle and expense of shipping Tortuga all the way down to South America? (yes!) And, most importantly, would we enjoy this trip ... read more
Sunset at the house
Hiking with the lovely Roxy
Hiking to the Palto waterfall with Jen

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos November 28th 2018

Another night-time navigation had us at the small island of Bartolome and it was a beautiful sight to wake-up to as from this spot we could also see the larger island, Santiago and the other small island nearby called Chinese Hat because of its shape, which we would also visit in the afternoon. Originally, the day was going to start with a dry-landing onto the island but Fabian noticed a big group of tourists already on the island so switched the activities around and we started with a zodiac boat ride around the island to try and spot penguins. We didn’t see any penguins but we did see pelicans and crabs. We then did the landing and we walked along a boarded walk which turned into 370 steps as we climbed to the top of the ... read more
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