Adventures on the Road to Loja

I had been warned that you have to be on your guard at the bus terminals. I booked a slightly fancier public bus (aka more expensive), and when I got on, a man in back welcomed me and ushered me to a seat. That’s a first. Smiling, he told me I was not permitted toContinue reading “Adventures on the Road to Loja”

Baños de Agua Santa

Baños is a small town (pop. about 20,000) resting in the mountains, with peaks shooting up all around and waterfalls visible from town center. It’s named after the thermal hot springs in various spots around town. The streets are lined with hostels, spas, and adventure tour shops complete with ATV rental, dirt bike rentals, puentingContinue reading “Baños de Agua Santa”

Cuyabeno Final Notes

The ecolodge was solar powered, so each night at 10:00pm, they shut off all electricity. One time I was brushing my teeth when poof, lights out time, and it was stunningly dark. I felt around the sink for my headlamp, which I had thoughtfully brought with me but absent-mindedly set down, on the sink ledgeContinue reading “Cuyabeno Final Notes”

Cuyabeno — Visiting the Amazon

We roared down the Cuyabeno river, wind tugging at our hats, droplets freckling our sunglasses. Our “piloto” occasionally swerved to avoid submerged obstacles, or would suddenly gun it and flip the motor out of the water to launch us over not-so-submerged obstacles. “Watch for anacondas sunning themselves on the tree branches,” our guide had toldContinue reading “Cuyabeno — Visiting the Amazon”

Otavalo Tour and 000 Degrees Latitude

One doesn’t go to Quito without visiting the center of the Earth, or 000 degrees latitude. I am no exception… or so I think. Several sites claim they are THE official site, and that the others are fakes. Mine was complete with an official certification from German scientists in 2005 that declared this site toContinue reading “Otavalo Tour and 000 Degrees Latitude”