Blogs from Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » North » Quito August 20th 2019

Dear All Greetings from Quito, capital city of Ecuador, and at 2,850 metres above sea level, it’s the second highest capital city in the world (after La Paz, Bolivia, at 3,640m). I arrived here after a comfortable 3.5 hour bus journey from Riobamba on Friday afternoon, although things haven’t really quite turned out as I expected… My plan was to do Quito on Saturday, visit the nearby Cotopaxi volcano on Sunday, and take a trip to the actual equator which runs through Ecuador just north of Quito on Monday. Saturday’s plans went well, but unfortunately I ate something dodgy on Saturday afternoon, and came down with gastroenteritis on Saturday night. I have since been holed up in my lovely room in the Ibis Hotel, giving myself some much-needed down-time and TLC. I feel a little frustrated ... read more
La Virgen de Quito
Me, View from La Virgen de Quito

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Riobamba August 16th 2019

Dear All Greetings from the Ecuadorian Andes! A small city called Riobamba, to be exact, where I am currently spending two nights before heading to the Ecuadorian capital of Quito tomorrow. I believe I last wrote having just reached the end of my amazing Galapagos adventure, I still feel so touched by these beautiful islands and their natural inhabitants, the spectacular wildlife. Indeed, I think my experience there will stay with me for a while. Since then, I spent one night in Guayaquil again, enjoying the luxuries of a four-star hotel, and in fact what was more welcome, the super-fast Internet connection. I was able to upload all of my photos from the Galapagos Islands (and there were many!) onto my OneDrive cloud, freeing up much-needed storage space again on my laptop for more photos. I ... read more
Me, Laguna Llaviucu

Dear All Greetings once more from the Galapagos Islands! These little gems of land in the Pacific Ocean are just stunners, and I’ve really had the most amazing time here. I am currently writing this one from my fantastic eco-hostel I’m staying in here, about 2km outside of the main town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal, the Cucuve (Mockingbird) Eco-Hostel, surrounded by lovely Galapagos nature and overlooking a beautiful garden with fruit trees. I have indeed found an idyllic lodging in which to spend my four nights on this other main island of the Galapagos, purposefully chosen for its serene and back-to-nature setting. I plan to upload this text onto my blog and publish it when I’m back in Guayaquil tomorrow, however, as the Internet connection here is really not good. ... read more
Blue-Footed Boobies
Waved Albatross In-Flight
Me, Swimming with Sea Lions

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island August 5th 2019

Dear All Greetings from the Galapagos Islands! I can’t believe I’m writing that! I’m actually here on the amazing, stunning, unique and mysterious Galapagos Islands. There have been many highlights of my trip so far, and being here is certainly one of them. I’ve read and heard so much about these islands, and in preparation for this trip, watched three separate nature series on this amazing archipelago. And now I’m here! In actual fact, I was quite emotional upon landing at Baltra Airport here on Friday afternoon, I nearly cried if I’m honest! These islands are just so special. I’ve had the most amazing first few days on the islands, basing myself in its main settlement of 20,000 inhabitants on the main island in the centre of the archipelago – Puerto Ayora, on the island of ... read more
Giant Tortoise
Marine Iguanas
Flamingo Asleep

South America » Ecuador August 1st 2019

JOHNNY'S JOURNEYS: ECUADOR METHODIST MISSIONS TRIP 2019 June 15, 2019 (Saturday) An amazing week in Ecuador with my daughter is over. I tell her good-bye at the Quito airport at 9 p.m. Now, I await 14 Methodists from Mobile, Alabama for our missions trip. My home church, St. Mark U.M.C., graciously provided the church bus to bring the crew to the Pensacola airport. Thanks... Pastor Chris and Jack. I mentally shift gears as they find me, for I'm in the bright orange team tee-shirt. All the luggage arrives and we take that as a sign for a good week ahead. We load the bus and leave the capital city on our way to Tabacundo. It is called the Rose Capital of the World. An hour later we reach the Hosteria Rancho Manabita. Settling into my room, ... read more

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil August 1st 2019

Dear All Greetings from Ecuador! This is my country number 80 – yay! Quite a significant number really! And as I believe I mentioned in a previous blog entry, if you don’t count the three little countries in the north-east of the continent, this completes my visit of every country in South America!! It is great to be in a new country again, as although I explored new parts of Peru, it didn’t count as another country for me due to my previous visit. It’s hard to believe that although this is quite an epic trip for me, it only adds one country to my list. Still, the Travellers’ Century Club counts the Galapagos Islands as a separate territory to Ecuador, so my total with them will be at 94 – not long until my provisional ... read more
Sea Lion Colony
View from the Lighthouse
Me and a New-Found Ecuadorian Friend

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil July 22nd 2019

In 2008 I spent a night in Guayaquil before finding a last-minute flight to the Galapagos Islands. My only memory of the city is my bewilderment as I ventured into the raucous, bustling concrete jungle on a Friday night. A friendly local approached me and I had little choice but to let him help me navigate the chaos. So the only thing I was looking forward to this time around was finding some warmth after the relative cold and rainy Cuenca. I had two days to wait for my homeward flight, so I tried to make the most of it. ISLA SANTAY It's worth the visit just to get some peace so close to the city itself. There is a walking-biking bridge across the river from near the malecon. It's free to enter, but take a ... read more
Break your face on Isla Santay
Village on Isla Santay

South America » Ecuador » South » Vilcabamba July 19th 2019

Vilcabamba was strangely empty in mid-July. It felt like the whole town - the hostels, taxis, and even the trails - were waiting for more tourists to show to enjoy the dry season while other parts of the country were cold and wet. After reading about its growing popularity in old guide books and websites, I expected it to be peaking by 2019, but people I asked said that tourism has abated and land prices are actually dropping. That was fine by me, since we felt like we had the area to ourselves. Other than hiking the impressive and varied series of trails, most of which are strung together to include dirt roads and drainage ditches, there wasn't much else to do but try out the few restaurants that were actually open and watch the expats ... read more
Goats in Tumianuma

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca July 12th 2019

Snapshots of Cuenca, one the most comfortable spots in South America (aside from the traffic, and assuming you're a tourist and not a Venezuelan refugee, which there are plenty of, many of them flashing their useless Venezuelan currency, which is a pretty effective way to evoke sympathy): *A weekday evening and Peggy and I stroll toward Parque San Sebastián. The faint melody of 'Barbie Girl' crescendos as we turn the corner to find dozens of locals aerobic dancing, led by instructors atop the church steps. We sit outside at the adjacent Jodoco Belgian Brew to watch. *Through the showcase window of Cafe Austria on a Sunday evening, a man urinates on the steel shutters of a storefront across the street. He's at it for awhile, his head tilting back in relief, but abruptly zips up and ... read more
Páramo of Parque Nacional Cajas
Death Trap Road
Cuenca City Center

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito June 25th 2019

Here, lovely June is finishing and I felt the need to catch up with my writing. This time, I will be dealing with a new South American destination, and a way of travel I hadn't experienced by myself, that is...backpacking. Had I actually done it before? alone...alone? well...not really, I can't recall more than just booking hotels, but getting my gear and getting away on my own...I gather this was it. And guess what? I visited 2 hemispheres at the same time, that's right... De nuevo, por aquí tratando de adelantarme en mi atrasada escritura. Esta vez, les estaré compartiendo una experiencia en Sur América que no había tenido antes, mochiliar! Creo que esa es la traducción. Pero dirán, será que lo había hecho antes? a ver, sólo, sólo, no creo. En el recuerdo, tengo la ... read more
What a lovely scenery
Buying T-shirts for family
The beautiful Old Town in Quito

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